State court officers, judges and other legal officials on Friday paid tribute to an officer who died this year from cancer related to his rescue efforts at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2015.
Lieutenant Theodore “Teddy” Leoutsakos succumbed to pancreatic cancer in February at 65. Leoutsakos’ former colleague, Chief Joseph Baccellieri, gave a moving speech about his friend who commandeered a jury van on Sept. 11, 2001 and was one of the first to arrive at the North Tower before the South Tower collapsed.
Leoutsakos dug himself out of the rubble when the second tower fell, breaking through windows will fellow court officers and firefighters to escape largely unharmed.
The Vietnam veteran, who was injured in the Tet Offensive, was “built like an ox” said Baccallieri, though he had the “compassionate” personality and “infectious” sense of humor.
For the 14th anniversary of the attacks, a crowd of over 100 people gathered in lower Manhattan to commemorate the three court officers who died during the attacks– Sergeant Thomas Jurgens, Captain William Harry Thompson and Sergeant Mitchel Wallace.