Chicago police officers who saved man from icy Lake Michigan honored

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Five Chicago Police officers and one sergeant were honored Tuesday for saving a man from an icy death in Lake Michigan.

On January 27, Field Training Officer Miguel Del Toro was patrolling the lakefront and saw that a man had fallen into the water to save his puppy. It was nine degrees outside and the water temperature was just above freezing.

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Bodycam video captured the dramatic rescue by Chicago police of a man who fell into Lake Michigan.

Del Toro along with five other officers including a police sergeant were honored for saving 33-year-old Eric Gale, who wanted to remain anonymous until Tuesday.

"I really felt imperiled and i knew that without help I couldn't get out of the lake and I would die there and seeing these men come over the ridge I knew I was saved and they pulled me out and I'm eternally grateful to them," Gale said.

The men risked their lives that frigid day, improvising by using a dog leash and forming a human chain to pull the man off that icy shelf to safety.

"I'm just glad that that everything worked out really well and glad to be there and to be able to help him that day," said Sergeant Alejandro Silva.

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CPD Sgt. Alex Silva, along with five other officers, recalled how they grabbed onto each other's belts to rescue a man from Lake Michigan who went into the water to save his dog.

The actions of Sergeant Alejandro Silva, Field Training Officer Miguel Del Toro, Field Training Officer Andrew Larson, Officer Brian Richards, Officer Adam O'Campo and Probationary Police Officer Eithan Ferman were recognized by the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Tuesday morning, making them the Officers of the Month for April. The man who they saved also thanked them in person.

"After that moment, I never saw him again, so you know seeing him here now, you know you remember and you realize that yeah we did save someone and it's a good feeling," Officer Del Toro said.

Several of the officers suffered injuries but none were severe. Gale and his dog, Pika, also recovered and are now forever grateful.
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