NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York’s Finest were more like New York’s strongest when it was time to the rescue a Bronx man, who was trapped under a taxi.
Rico Elias said he watched it happen from the window of his apartment on East 138th Street, as cops from the 40th Precinct stationhouse in Mott Haven came to the rescue of 19-year-old Luis Velasquez after he was struck by and pinned under a taxi, CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Monday.
“And he literally runs right out onto the street,” Elias said. “They lifted it up! There was no jack. They used their hands and backs and lifted the car up and over and got him out.”
At least a dozen officers helped lift the taxi — a Crown Victoria weighing more than 3,800 pounds.
“The sarge said ‘Let’s get it up’ and they got it up, and they broke their butts doing it,” Elias said.
For the man who shot the video, the whole thing brought back some memories — of the time he wanted to be a New York City cop. Elias said he dropped out of the Police Academy after just a few months back in the 1980s.
“I resigned, and I gotta tell you, that was the first time I regretted it,” Elias said, adding when asked what he thought of the hero cops he witnessed, “They made me proud. They were good.”
The video two shows man being taken away. The rescued man is in critical condition at Lincoln Hospital. Police said he ran into traffic as police responded to a dispute outside a restaurant.
Elias, a cabbie himself, said he feels for the driver who struck the victim.
“He didn’t expect this. He probably didn’t even know that he hit the guy!” Elias said.
Investigators agreed as the taxi driver will not face charges.
The victim was listed in critical condition on Monday night, with head trauma and other very serious injuries.
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