A group of Jewish teenagers are being praised for their quick work in saving the life of a drowning man — one who happened to have a swastika tattoo.
The incident took place at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir in Boston where the group of Orthodox Jewish boys were taking a walk one night last week. As NBC Boston reported, the boys saw what they thought was a body floating in the water and ran to alert a nearby police officer.
Boston College Police Officer Carl Mascioli, who was on patrol near the reservoir, said the panicked teens came to him for help with the man.
“As I approached them, two of them ran up to my car,” Mascioli told NBC Boston. “There was a body in the water.”
Mascioli found the man partially submerged and not moving. The officer helped to pull the man out of the reservoir, and it was then that he noticed the drowning man had a swastika tattoo on his hand.
It was not clear how the man ended up in the water. However, police said he likely would have been dead soon if the boys had not worked so quickly to save his life.
The act of kindness attracted some viral attention, with a number of news outlets picking up the story and many sharing it across social media, largely because it took place at a time of deep divisions across the United States. As a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from last October found, Americans believe that the country has never been more split on a number of issues, with many divisions around religious and racial lines. In the survey, 8 out of 10 said that the country was “mainly” or “totally” divided.
As NBC News noted, the stark results appear to be a dangerous sign.
“They suggest that voters have no doubt that the country’s political divisiveness has become a deep and dangerous problem but also that the problem is mostly the other side’s fault. In a closely divided country, it’s hard to see how those attitudes lead to a resolution any time soon,” the report noted.
But as the police in Boston noted, there was no division when the group of teens came across a life-and-death crisis.
“A good deed is a good deed and that’s part of life. We should be helping everybody out,” officer Mascioli said.
Massachusetts authorities say a group of Jewish teens played a key role in saving the life of a drowning man with a tattoo of a swastika. https://t.co/1nR0IrMAH6
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 28, 2019
The group of teenagers did not speak with the news outlet, but reportedly gave the police officer a message to relay to the man — they wanted him to know that it was a group of Jewish boys who saved him.