Peter Schioppo broke the back window with his fist, and dragged a stranger out of the car and to safety.
19-year-old Peter Schioppo II, from Guilford, Connecticut, is being hailed a hero for rescuing a man whose car had rolled into the East River and was sinking into the water with the man trapped inside.
Schioppo and several of his friends were hanging out on a dock Saturday night when they saw a black Buick slowly roll into the water near bye. The young man told ABC News:
There were no brake lights on. We looked at each other, not believing it actually happened. Then we all ran toward the dock. I called 911 and handed my phone off to one of them, and we all pulled the car toward the shore. That’s when the front completely sank and hit the bottom. So I jumped in.
Schioppo explained that he wasn’t able to break the rear side window, so he decided to punch through the back window instead. The water was about five feet deep and up to his neck, but he was able to punch the rear window out and was “then able to climb in partially and grab him and pull him out onto the trunk. Then I handed him off to Dan and Josh and they pulled him onto the dock. Twenty seconds later, the car completely sank into the water.”
The teen was taken to the hospital along with the driver of the vehicle he had rescued, but was released later the same night with nothing but a small scratch on his hand. He said, “On my hand, the only thing I got was a small cut on my pinky. But no break or fracture. I didn’t really feel much. The doctor at the ER was shocked I didn’t break my hand.”
After the incident Schioppo’s father told ABC News:
He downplayed the whole thing. Of course we’re extremely proud. He’s a very stoic, laid-back type of kid. He did what he had to do. It’s plain and simple with him. He doesn’t look for accolades.
The driver, who was cleared by the hospital that same night as well, was arrested on “suspicion of being intoxicated” and released on bail. Schioppo said that he hasn’t heard from the man he rescued, and that he’s not even sure who the man was.