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“It was my first collar and I was all alone in that subway tunnel. When it was over my whole body was shaking. I remember thinking, wow, is this how it’s going to be? But there was something pretty exciting about it too.” —Ann-Margaret Lyons

“I took my son down to lower Manhattan to the Police Museum. There’s a shield on display there and I was explaining to him how we use that to protect ourselves in certain situations. I went over to look at it closer and I realized it was my shield. I recognized the bullet holes.” —Pete Tetukevich 

Whether making arrests for homicides, saving jumpers off high ledges and bridges, or serving warrants and arresting some of the city’s most dangerous felons, Pete and Ann-Margaret were drawn to high-risk police work. Pete describes his arrest of “Chucky,” an unlikely suspect who was found guilty of a particularly bloody stabbing. He crawls out on a 17th floor ledge where his patience and compassion saved the life of a man who was trying to jump. Later, he takes a life-threatening ride to the hospital after a shard of glass cuts through his thigh as he struggles to arrest a man for murder.

Ann-Margaret’s first arrest occurred just out of the Academy when patrolling alone in a subway tunnel, she came across two young men who were lighting homeless people on fire. She was one of the first responders to the ten-car derailment at the Union Square Station, carnage she says was worse than any horror movie. A Rottweiler bites off her finger as she tries to settle a domestic dispute.

Ann and Pete met when they were both assigned to Emergency Service. It wasn’t love at first sight, but pretty close. They were among the first officers to respond to the Massacre at Freddie’s Fashion Mart in Harlem where seven people were gunned down or burned to death by a lone assailant. It would take months before they fully realized it, but the Freddie’s massacre would have dire consequences for them as police officers.

“When Ann and I met I had never thought about dying or even what it would be like if I got seriously hurt,” Pete said. “I started worrying almost from the time I met her and it just grew from there. At first the anxiety was subconscious, but after Freddie’s my fear that I could lose her became very real. In this line of work, as soon as you start thinking – man I could fall and get hurt, or worse she could get hurt – that’s when you start second guessing yourself and thinking about what might happen. Then you start to worry, then you get shaky, then it’s time to go.”

Ann-Margaret and Pete’s story is about heroic feats, terrible injuries, and close calls with death. But it’s also about two people who fall in love and walk away from the only job they ever loved because they cared about each other more.