Sept. 12, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The stretch of 29th Street between 21st Avenue and Ditmars Boulevard now can now go by another name: Lieutenant Theodore Leoutsakos Way.
Several local politicians gathered Friday to celebrate the co-naming of the street in honor of Astoria native Leoutsakos as part of a bill signed in to law on August 3 to name various streets and public places in honor of New York’s public servants.
Leoutsakos worked as a New York State Court Officer and assisted with rescue efforts on September 11, 2001. During his rescue efforts, he got stuck under rubble from the South Tower, and though he survived that day, he died from September-11th related cancer in 2015.
NYS Court Officers Academy Chief Joseph Baccellieri, Jr. described Leoutsakos as “a true American hero who served his country with pride and distinction in combat as an airman in the United States Air Force and as a New York State Court Officer who responded to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001.”
“We are proud to commemorate Lieutenant Theodore Leoutsakos’ contribution to our city with this street co-naming. Leoutsakos’ assistance at the World Trade Center rubble pile during the September 11th rescue efforts demonstrated his sacrifice to our community. We honor him for his dedication and service,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides.
In addition to local politicians Constantinides and Assembly Member Aravella Simotas, Leoutsakos’ family attended the naming celebration.
“We are so honored to have the street my family has lived on for 47 years co-named in our father’s honor. Our father was a man who believed in serving his community and country,” said Stacey, Cynthia and Stephanie Leoutsakos, daughters of Lieutenant Theodore Leoutsakos. “Today is a celebration of my father and a proud day for our entire family.”