First Precinct officer dies saving family in Staten Island

[/media-credit] A photo of Artur Kasprzak, one of the city’s fatalities of Hurricane Sandy, was taped to the front door of the First Police Precinct following his death.

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | The First Precinct, which serves the southern tip of Manhattan, is in mourning, having lost one of its own the night of the storm surge. Police officer Artur Kasprzak, 28, a six-year department veteran, died while ushering seven family members to safety inside his flood-ravaged home on Staten Island during Hurricane Sandy.

With water rapidly rising, Kasprzak, who was off duty, safely got six adults, including his mother, father and fiancé and a 15-month-old boy into the attic. He then told one of the women he was going to check on something in the basement and that he would be right back. But during his trip, a surge of water overtook him, and he wasn’t able to escape.

Members of the Police Department’s Emergency Service and Scuba Team quickly responded to a 911 call reporting Kasprzak’s absence, but they couldn’t access the home since there were live power lines in the water.

A search commenced as soon as the house was safe to enter. The officer’s body was found unconscious and unresponsive at around 7 a.m. on Tues., Oct. 30 in the basement. Officials pronounced Kasprzak dead at the scene.

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