Badges of Honor

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Moynihan

Cops rescue their own at the station house.

As Sandy rolled toward Coney Island, whipping sand and debris across the famous boardwalk, officers at the NYPD's 60th Precinct prepared to evacuate. As NYPD steamfitters Kevin Hunter and Anthony DiMaggio hurried to a subterranean boiler room to shut down the station's heat valves, a burst of water--a "five-foot wave," one cop said--smashed into the station, consuming the basement and knocking down one of the boiler room's walls. Hunter's leg was caught in the boiler's machinery and completely submerged under water, and he was unable to get free.

DiMaggio screamed for help, and Lt. Peter O'Neill and his fellow officers rushed to the flooded room, which was already under eight feet of water--with it rising fast. "It was like a waterfall," O'Neill, a 15-year veteran, recounted. "I've been in plenty of hairy situations, but this was probably the scariest thing I have experienced on the force." The officers of the 60th Precinct sprinted down the stairs and, with a collective pull, yanked Hunter to safety. …