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Teen rescued after falling into Genesee River



Rochester, New York – Several University of Rochester peace officers rescued a young teen swimming in the Genesee River early Sunday morning.

According to public safety officers, they often deal with students jumping into the river for fun, but what they didn’t know was if this teen was struggling in the water.

It all started Sunday morning when a University of Rochester employee noticed that there was a person in the water. He called U of R’s Public Safety Department for help. Peace Officer Adam Sorell was one of the first to arrive. “I observed an individual approximately 40-yards down trying to get up, but continually falling down in the river. Off, and on would go out about 15 yards into the river,” said Sorell.

Officers are not releasing the teen’s name, but say he fits the description of a non-verbal autistic teen from Rochester that was reported missing.

Veronica Rivera tells us she kept a close watch on the teen to make sure he didn’t drift away. She was ready to jump into the river to save him. “It would’ve been kind of scary being that I have all this weight, extra you know uniform on, but I would definitely jump in if I had to,” said Rivera.

They had to use hand signals to communicate with the teen, officer Taylor Agnello said. “We were able to kind of get him to swim down here. Pulled him out. It was a little bit of a challenge but it all worked out, and then kind of sat him over on the bench. Got him a blanket,” said Agnello.

According to Sergeant Tim Kozlowski, the officers relied on their training. “We go through multiple trainings such as crisis intervention training, as well as autistic spectrum disorder training in order to be familiar, and comfortable with talking and communicating with people with disorders,” said Kozlowski.

The teen was released to his parents. The officers say his mother was visibly upset but thankful that he was pulled out of the water.