Contact Us
Putnam Daily Voice serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley
Return to your home site

Menu

Putnam Daily Voice serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley
Breaking News: Police Seek Public's Help In Search For Suspect In Robbery Near Putnam
neighbors

Mahopac Teen Hero Receives State's Highest Honor At Emotional Ceremony

Daily Voice talks to Cullen Malzo and the two girls he rescued from Lake Mahopac - Julia Brower (R) and Dana Circelli (L) - as well as Malzo's dad, and Sen. Terrence Murphy about the rescue.
Daily Voice talks to Cullen Malzo and the two girls he rescued from Lake Mahopac - Julia Brower (R) and Dana Circelli (L) - as well as Malzo's dad, and Sen. Terrence Murphy about the rescue. Video Credit: Skip Pearlman
Mahopac's Cullen Malzo (L) was honored by local and state officials Wednesday night at Carmel Town Hall.
Mahopac's Cullen Malzo (L) was honored by local and state officials Wednesday night at Carmel Town Hall. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Cullen Malzo (with tie) with Dana Circelli and her parents (left side) and Julia Brower and her parents (right).
Cullen Malzo (with tie) with Dana Circelli and her parents (left side) and Julia Brower and her parents (right). Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Cullen Malzo with Sen Terrence Murphy (L) and Cullen's dad, Joe Malzo, who came up from Florida for the ceremony.
Cullen Malzo with Sen Terrence Murphy (L) and Cullen's dad, Joe Malzo, who came up from Florida for the ceremony. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Cullen Malzo is congratulated by NYS Sen. Terrence Murphy.
Cullen Malzo is congratulated by NYS Sen. Terrence Murphy. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Cullen Malzo was honored by state and local officials Wednesday night at Carmel Town Hall.
Cullen Malzo was honored by state and local officials Wednesday night at Carmel Town Hall. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

MAHOPAC, N.Y. - A reunion of the very best kind took place Wednesday evening inside Carmel's Town Hall in Mahopac.

Mahopac 19-year-old Cullen Malzo - who pulled two teenage girls from a car wreck in the waters of Lake Mahopac on Nov. 10 - was reunited with the girls and honored for his brave actions in front of local and state officials in an emotional ceremony, as the rescued girls and their families, as well as relatives of Malzo, watched teary-eyed from the audience.

"In life, God puts you where you're supposed to be," State Sen. Terrence Murphy said of Malzo. "And on Nov. 10, He put you where you were supposed to be, and because of that two girls are alive and well today."

In a critical, and potential life or death situation,  Malzo never hesitated. He called 911 (at first on his calculator by accident, as he recalled Wednesday night) and then went about the business of getting Dana Circelli and Julia Brower, both 17, out of the submerged vehicle.

Malzo was awarded the state's highest honor - the New York State Senate Liberty Medal - by Murphy, and was also recognized by Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt and Putnam Sheriff Don Smith.

The New York State Senate Liberty Medal is given to individuals who have performed exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of others.

Malzo grew up in Yorktown and graduated from Lakeland HS in 2015 before moving to Mahopac a year-and-a-half ago. He was in his driveway on Nov. 10 when a car came speeding down North Lake Boulevard, when the driver lost control of the car. It hit a utility pole and flipped over, landing upside down in Lake Mahopac.

After calling 911, Malzo ran into the lake and found himself immersed in thick mud, but he could hear the two teen girls screaming from inside the car. Malzo was able to reach the passenger and pull her out of the window. He then had to search before finding the driver's foot and pulling her free.

Watch the video to see an interview with Malzo, Circelli, Brower, Joe Malzo (Cullen's dad), and Sen. Murphy.

For Daily Voice's initial report on the crash and rescue, click here.

to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.

Welcome to

Putnam Daily Voice!

Serves Brewster, Carmel-Kent, Cold Spring, Mahopac, Patterson & Putnam Valley

This is a one time message inviting you to keep in touch

Get important news about your town as it happens.