Story at a glance

  • An intoxicated driver with a suspended license crashed into a 36-year-old woman and her 8-month-old daughter, propelling them through the front glass window of a barber shop on Friday.
  • Two officers with the Yonkers Police Department responded, working with bystanders to lift the car and free the baby, who was trapped underneath.
  • Police arrested the driver and charged him with driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault in the second degree and aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree.

Police officers and bystanders in New York are being hailed for their “heroic” efforts after they saved a baby who was pinned underneath a car on Friday.

The Yonkers Police Department responded to the scene of a car accident on July 23 after an intoxicated driver with a suspended license crashed into a 36-year-old woman holding her 8-month-old daughter, propelling them through the front glass window and door of the Dmitriy Barber Shop, where the car came to a stop, according to the police. The officers were next door to the barber shop eating breakfast when they witnessed the crash.


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Body camera footage from the scene shows officer Rocco Fusco and multiple bystanders lifting the car inside the barber shop as he yells, “Grab the baby!” to his partner, officer Paul Samoyedny. The officer then reached under the car for the struggling child before emerging with her, saying, “I got it! I got the baby!”

The unidentified woman sustained a fractured femur, and the baby suffered a skull fracture and third-degree burns to her back.

“It is always a tragedy when someone is injured by the reckless and criminal acts of another person, and that is only amplified when those injured include an infant,” Police Commissioner John J. Mueller said. “Luckily, two veteran officers of Yonkers’ Finest just happened to be getting breakfast next door and quickly took action along with members of the community to rescue a child trapped under the vehicle and render aid to her mother. The actions taken are nothing short of heroic.”

Police arrested the driver, David Poncurak, 43, and charged him with driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault in the second degree and aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree.


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Published on Jul 26, 2021