Tragedy struck the family of a retired NYPD detective who witnessed him being swept out to sea, to his death, after heroically saving a young boy from drowning.
According to the New York Post, the body of 44-year-old José Rosario was found ashore two days after his valiant effort and not too far from where he rescued another drowning child three years earlier.
“He really died a hero. He didn’t think twice about it. Once a cop, always a cop,’’ said his sister, Helen Rosario.
While vacationing in Puerto Rico, José spotted a 12-year-old boy fighting to stay afloat in the harsh waters off Playa de Jobos.
“He got the little boy onto a rock that he could hold onto,” recalled Rosario’s stepdaughter, Leshia Chen. “And the boy was then telling him to ‘Grab onto me!’
“But my stepfather didn’t want to grab onto him, fearing the boy would lose his grip. That’s when another wave hit and my stepfather got pulled out further.”
Shortly after that, Rosario’s wife and children watched helplessly as he drifted off. His daughter, Anais, took to Facebook to post about her father’s disappearance.
“Hey everyone, so today my dad, Joe Rosario, …. the most amazing person in the world who would do anything for anyone and has the biggest heart, went missing,” she posted.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen and if he’s still out there or not but no matter what he is a hero and always has been.”
“He was my best friend and I’m going to keep praying and hope for the best. But just so you know dad, wherever you are I love you so much and I’m gonna keep making you proud I promise,” she said.
Rosario retired after more than 20 years on the force as a Manhattan detective.