NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Did a police officer keep a Brooklyn mother from getting life-saving help for her daughter?
That’s the question being asked as the family of an 11-year-old girl mourns her death.
Young Briana Ojeda’s father talked to CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman about what may have been a fatal delay, caused by someone in uniform, behind the wheel of what looked like a police car.
That crucial delay occurred Friday as Ojeda’s 11-year-old daughter tried to fight through an asthma attack while her mother struggled get her to a hospital just blocks away.
“He held her up for five minutes. My daughter passed out in the street and fell on the floor in front of him. And he didn’t even make a movement to grab her and help her,” Michael Ojeda told Guzman
While Ojeda was not at the scene during the incident, he said his wife Carmen told him exactly what happened. It is also what she told police investigators from internal affairs.
Blocked on the narrow one way street, the girl’s mother spotted the uniformed man in what she thought was a white police car, CBS 2’s Rob Morrison reports.
Ojeda said his wife begged the man for help.
“My daughter fell on the floor and he look at my wife with a smirk and told her ‘I don’t know CPR,'” Ojeda said.
Carmen Ojeda continued against traffic to the hospital while the man in the white car followed with his sirens blasting, Michael Ojeda said.
Whether he was trying to help is unclear, but the uniformed man disappeared when they reached the emergency room, Morrison reported.
“You need to come forward and just apologize, that’s all, you know who you are, that couldn’t give CPR to my baby,” Carmen Ojeda said.
Michael Ojeda was emotional when talking about his daughter. Ojeda said he has a tough job as a tow truck operator on some bad streets but explained how he looked forward to coming home.
“But you know what, when I walk through that door? In five minutes…she got me like a puppy,” Ojeda said with tears flowing down his face.
In a statement, the police department said they are trying to find out just who was behind the wheel of the NYPD-style vehicle.
“(Internal Affairs) has interviewed all of the officers in the command and it has shown photographs of the police officers in the command to the woman and to witnesses, and none has been picked out,” the statement said.
The girl’s mother said the individual escorted her to the hospital by following her with lights on following the delay.
Witnesses including Erica Domenech tell police the events transpired as the young girl’s mother described them.
Meanwhile, the Brianna’s family continues to mourn her loss.
“She was an angel and she will be missed. The earth will miss her,” Maria Ojeda, the girl’s grandmother said.