May 11, 2016
NYPD rescues two boaters stranded on island on Jamaica Bay
BY Graham Rayman John Annese Stephen Rex Brown

Once reviled, now he’s being hailed as a hero.

An NYPD cop acquitted in the notorious shooting death of Amadou Diallo rappelled from a helicopter Tuesday to rescue a couple stranded on an island off of Brooklyn.

Kenneth Boss, 44, who was promoted to NYPD sergeant in December — despite being one of four cops indicted in the 1999 barrage bullets blasted at the unarmed Guinean immigrant — made the daring rescue from Canarsie Pol island in Jamaica Bay.

Jenny Ly, 50, and her husband, Kevin Huynh, 52, of Brooklyn, had been boating and were beached for 24 hours before cops came to their aid at 2:45 p.m.

Police released video of the NYPD heroics Tuesday night, showing Boss rappelling from the helicopter and hooking Ly and Huynh to a hoist.

Sgt. Kenneth Boss, who was acquitted in the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, was part of a team that rappelled from a helicopter Tuesday to pluck two boaters stranded on a Jamaica Bay island.Sgt. Kenneth Boss, who was acquitted in the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, was part of a team that rappelled from a helicopter Tuesday to pluck two boaters stranded on a Jamaica Bay island. (NYPD) 
When told of her rescuer’s troubled past, Ly replied she'd never heard of the notorious Diallo case.

“He was very nice! First he came down and he asked me, ‘Are you OK? Do you need any medical attention?’” Ly recalled after enjoying a night of sleep in her own bed. “He said, ‘You don’t need to do anything. Let me do all the work. Just hold my arm.’”

Officers Lester Sanabria and Manuel Huerta piloted the helicopter, and Officer Jonathan Yacoub, the crew chief, operated the hoist.

“The brave members of the aviation unit enjoy helping individuals that are in need,” NYPD Sgt. Brendan Ryan said.

Boss, who was promoted to sergeant in December, was described by the couple he rescued as "very nice."

Cops at Floyd Bennett Field gave the couple a warm welcome when they landed. Ly drank water, Huynh had a coffee.

“They all comforted me. Even the captain,” Ly said. “We ate a pizza ... I was so thankful. They were all so nice.”

Ly and Huynh had just gotten the vessel on Saturday.

“We were gonna take a test drive around the area, because we just bought the boat,” Ly said. “The water was too low, and we couldn’t come back.”

Kevin Huynh and Jenny Ly were beached for 24 hours before cops came to their aid Tuesday.Kevin Huynh and Jenny Ly were beached for 24 hours before cops came to their aid Tuesday. (NYPD) 
Ly and Huynh were too worried about being overcome by carbon monoxide from the boat’s engine to fall asleep, she said, adding they had “No water, no food for 24 hours.”

“The boat was stuck in the sand, so we stayed in the cabin,” Ly said. “It was so cold, and I didn’t have my jacket on.”

Ly’s cell phone ran out of battery power, and they had no radio. The next day, the couple used the boat’s horn to flag down a passing sailboat and call 911.

An NYPD helicopter happened to be in the air nearby at that moment and responded instead of the department’s harbor unit, police said.

Boss fired five of the 41 shots in the barrage that killed Amadou Diallo, 23, in 1999.Boss fired five of the 41 shots in the barrage that killed Amadou Diallo, 23, in 1999. (New York Daily News) 
Boss, a Marine reservist who did a tour in Iraq, opted not to leave the NYPD after the killing and a trial in which he and three fellow cops were acquitted of murder and other charges.

Boss’ December promotion to sergeant was mandated by police policy, but is also subject to review by the police commissioner.

Diallo’s mother was devastated by news of the promotion.

Since Diallo's death, his mother has been focused on a foundation dedicated to academic scholarships for black students, she told the Daily News.Since Diallo's death, his mother has been focused on a foundation dedicated to academic scholarships for black students, she told the Daily News. (AP) 

“This is a stab in the heart,” Kadiatou Diallo told the Daily News in December. “You have so many police officers out there who deserve to be promoted, and this man is being promoted?”

But she had little to say in response to the rescue, and instead mentioned the foundation she’d founded dedicated to academic scholarships for black students.

“I am focused on the Amadou Diallo Foundation. That is where I find my peace,” Kadiatou said.
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