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'Not on my watch': Retired NYPD officer saves woman that drove into Lake Norman

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MOORESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A retired NYPD officer saved a woman who drove into Lake Norman Wednesday afternoon, according to Mooresville Fire.

Around 3:00 p.m. near Williamson Road across the street from Eddie’s, Mark Mistretta was eating with his wife and friends when he witnessed chaos begin to unfold.

“Out of nowhere, we heard this loud kind of crash, and people yell,” Mistretta said. “I looked up and saw this car in the water.”

Officials say the woman veered off the road into the lake, and that’s when Mistretta jumped in to help.

“I’m going in,” he said. “I knew time was of the; I wasn’t aware of how deep it was. So, I didn’t know if this car was going to sink soon.”

Two people from Eddie’s also dove in to help, as well as a boater, but Mistretta knew the woman was still wearing a seatbelt.

“My brother has a car similar, and I know the seatbelt wraps around the back a little bit of the seat, so I just went under,” he said. “I couldn’t see much, but I could feel better and found it, released it.”

After releasing the seatbelt, he pulled her out of the car and helped her swim safely to the dock. She was taken to a local hospital for safety measures, and the car was removed from the lake.

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This wasn’t the first time Mistretta had run towards danger to save a life.

In August of 1991, a young officer Mistretta saved a Rabbi and his son who were getting beaten in the Brooklyn race riots.

“I knew what I was up against, I knew that I could make a difference, so I was going to do that,” Mistretta said.

The citizen that saved the driver’s life will be recognized during a town board meeting in the future, Mooresville Fire said.

“There’s an old saying at NYPD, not on my watch if I can help it,” Mistretta said. “I tried to make a difference today.”



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