The acquisition of a beloved, pricey jewel can be exciting and romantic; the loss of one, devastating. Lena and Daniel Breed experienced both events in one December weekend.
Lena, a 30-year-old design artist, and Daniel, a 33-year-old former police officer, were vacationing in New York on their 10th wedding anniversary. In honor of the occasion, Lena gave Daniel a diamond ring.
Walking through midtown Manhattan the next day, the Breeds watched helplessly as the ring slid off Daniel’s finger and fell through the urban equivalent of a black hole: the subway grate. Unsure if they’d ever see their diamond again, the couple signaled a nearby patrol officer who contacted the police department’s Emergency Services Unit for help.
Detectives Richard Perez and Robert Masucci, both of Staten Island, arrived on the scene and quickly tackled the problem. Masucci set up a ladder that led down to the subway’s high-voltage transformers. The detectives were able to retrieve the ring, which lay under the transformers, in five minutes.
Masucci told JCK that his squad is called in for this type of emergency “from time to time—at least two or three times a year,” and detectives must do their best to retrieve jewelry lost in sewers, subway grates, and other hard-to-reach city nooks.
The frequency of these occurrences does not change the effect on those involved, however. The Breeds were extremely grateful to the detectives and thanked them profusely before heading back home to Seattle with their jewelry survival story and their diamond.