NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A horrifying scene ended Monday afternoon with a hero saving the day on Coney Island.
Shocked neighbors looked on around 2 p.m. after a 7-year-old girl fell out of a third-floor window and survived thanks to MTA bus driver Steven St. Bernard, a quick-acting passerby just getting home from work, who caught the girl in his arms.
The entire episode was caught on video.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones With More On The Story
The mother of the girl told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis her daughter Keyla is autistic and was supposed to be sleeping in the bedroom under the window air conditioner she had bought and installed on Sunday.
“I heard somebody banging on the door, stating that my daughter was outside on the air conditioner, but I had no idea what was going on because I had my son,” said the girl’s mom Saleema McCree.
McCree said the unit was not secure and the side vents easily opened, which allowed her daughter to squeeze through and get out.
“They sold me a defective air conditioner,” McCree said.
Onlookers said that girl started dancing on top of the AC before she plummeted.
Witness outside the Coney Island Houses said they wouldn’t have believed it if they didn’t see it themselves.
Jeremiah Fernandez, 12, saw the whole thing happen.
“I was kind of a little scared, I never seen anything like that up close before,” Fernandez said.
“I ran inside and called 911, but by the time I hung up she had fell,” said neighbor Latasha Marcus.
St. Bernard happened to be walking by and saw the girl seconds before the fall.
“Basically she was dancing and I just — I was just praying that I would get there and that if she [fell] that I would catch her,” he told CBS 2’s Dennis.
“She was shocked, because she moaned a little bit,” St. Bernard told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones.
Police rushed to the scene, taped off the area and transported the child and St. Bernard to Coney Island Hospital.
The young girl didn’t suffer any injuries, but St. Bernard suffered a torn tendon in his hand. Despite that, the good Samaritan smiled and told reporters “it’s all good.”
Neighbors said St. Bernard deserves a big award.
“He has a heart, a very good heart — kids, adults, anybody — he would do anything for anybody,” said Jessica Aleman.
While St. Bernard is being called a hero, the child’s mom insisted she is a good parent and Keyla is a good kid.
“All I got to say to people is don’t judge what you saw because it wasn’t that way at all,” McCree said.
Meanwhile, the NYPD did speak with the girl’s mother and father before determining that no charges will be filed in the incident.
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