Timothy Tonkin helped to save James A. Leone, Jr., from drowning, Cold Spring Harbor, New York, October 12, 2008. Leone, 39, was inside a sport utility vehicle that was submerging in Cold Spring Harbor at a point about 60 feet opposite a boat ramp. It was dark. The man who discovered the vehicle alerted authorities and, paddling a dingy out, attempted to gain access to it. Tonkin, 44, police officer, was dispatched to the scene. He swam to the vehicle, which by then was submerged in the deep water but for a few inches at its rear roofline. Using his metal baton, Tonkin broke the rear passenger-side window after striking it repeatedly. Tonkin reached into the vehicle through the broken-out window, grasped Leone, and pulled him out, but Leone’s weight sent Tonkin deeper into the water. He surfaced but struck his face against the vehicle. The man in the dinghy had grasped Leone and with Tonkin held him to that vessel as they maneuvered it to the bank. Leone and Tonkin were taken to the hospital, where Tonkin, who had broken a tooth, was treated for lacerations. He recovered.
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