Stockade resident Christopher Delgado was enjoying the weather late Friday afternoon near the banks of the Mohawk River behind his Ingersoll Avenue home when he noticed five or six teenage boys jumping off the railroad trestle 200 yards downstream.
Delgado, 38, said he knew he had to take action when he saw one of the teens hit part of the concrete bridge support on his way down into the water.
Delgado said he has been a lifeguard for 12 years and didn’t hesitate, diving into the river. He was able to reach the teen and help him to safety.
Delgado, who described himself as a New York City native who had moved to the neighborhood this spring, said: “I had to do it. I’m a New Yorker. It’s what we do.”
The teenager, who had a cut nose and scratches on his upper chest and back, refused medical attention. The youths ran away before city police could arrive and question them.
The railroad bridge is about 100 yards from the Union College Rowing Team dock. Donna Lagone of North Street says kids jumping off the bridge and dock, which is private property, is a common occurrence all summer.
“Kids jump off the bridge all the time. They’ll be back again tomorrow,” she said.
Water rescue crews from the Schenectady, Scotia and Alplaus fire departments all responded to the call, which came in around 5:30 p.m. Schenectady Deputy Fire Chief Rod Rosate said by the time they reached the scene, the teen was already out of the water.
Rosate says kids jumping into the river in the area of the trestle is a dangerous proposition that has led to drownings in past years.
“There’s a lot of debris under those trestles. There’s a lot of rocks down there, there’s a lot of cement down there,” he said.