Mahopac Teen Hero to Be Honored
A Hudson Valley teenager who saved two young girls from likely death will receive the highest honor possible.
On Wednesday Dec. 7., Senator Terrance Murphy will award 19-year-old Cullen Malzo of Mahopac with the New York State Liberty Medal.
In early Nov., two 17-year-old girls were traveling along North Lake Boulevard in Mahopac when the driver lost control of the car, hit a pole, flipped over, and landed upside down in Lake Mahopac.
Malzo saw the crash from his driveway and sprang into action. He immediately called 911, dove into the water and swam to the car.
Malzo swam through several feet of muck and pulled the girls out of a blown out window.
“What Cullen did was extraordinary,” Senator Murphy stated. “He could have stood by and waited for someone else to act, but he knew whoever was in that car was in danger. He focused on saving those two girls and was willing to go to whatever extent it took to help them.”
Officials noted that Malzo was covered in mud, from head to toe, after his heroic act.
By the time emergency officials arrived, the two girls were already brought to shore. Both suffered only minor injuries.
“Cullen is a brave young man. His quick actions and fortitude saved those girl?s lives,” said Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt. “He displayed nerves of steel. He acted without hesitation or concern for his own safety. He had the presence of mind to call 911 while he was running toward the accident and thought about picking up a rock to break open the window. I know our community appreciates what Cullen did.”
The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is one of the highest civilian honors that someone from New York can receive. The award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts.