A group of Jewish teens is being credited with saving a man’s life after they rescued him from a Massachusetts reservoir and learned he has an anti-Semitic tattoo on his hand.
The four boys, all students at an Orthodox Jewish high school in Brookline, were walking near the Chestnut Hill Reservoir when they spotted a man partially submerged in the water, according to the Associated Press. They ran to Boston College police officer Carl Mascioli’s patrol car, and he rushed into the water and pulled the man to safety.
“While I was pulling him out of the water, I also observed that he had a swastika on his hand, Mascioli told NBC affiliate WBTS. “I kind of let the gentlemen know sometimes some good deeds have a funny way of turning around. Their good deed had a little bit of a twist to it.”
Boston College police did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.
It is unclear how the man ended up in the water, but he is expected to recover, according to WBTS. The boys said they don’t regret saving the man, even after learning about the Nazi symbol, according to Mascioli.
“They wanted just to let him know that it was four young Jewish boys that helped save his life,” Mascioli said. “A good deed is a good deed and that’s part of life. We should be helping everybody out.”
Authorities said the man didn’t have much time left in the water and Masciolo likely would not have seen him if it weren’t for the teens.