Who are Rocco Fusco and Paul Samoyedy? Hero NY cops lift drunk driver's car off baby and mother
Body camera footage showed Rocco Fusco, Paul Samoyedy and several bystanders lift the 2005 Hyundai Elantra off of the pinned woman and child
YONKERS, NEW YORK: Police officers and bystanders lifted a car off an infant on Friday, July 24, saving both the baby and her mother. The eight-month old infant girl was reportedly pinned beneath the car when a drunk driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a building. The car also slammed into the mother, who was carrying her child as they crossed the street
“The girl hit the windshield ... and then the baby and the girl (were) in between the car and the (store) wall like a sandwich,” an eyewitness Gabriel Debraz, 82, recounted. “Oh my God. Screams all over the place. Screams!”
Video of the accident reportedly shows the 36-year-old woman and her eight-month-old child getting slammed by the car before it barrels into a barbershop, dragging the mother and baby along. Two police officers who were grabbing breakfast at a bagel shop next door during the crash immediately jumped into action.
Who are Rocco Fusco and Paul Samoyedy?
Fusco and Samoyedy were the two Yonkers Police Department officers who rushed to help. "It's honestly a miracle that both of them survived – very strong mom and an even stronger little infant," Fusco said. Body camera footage reportedly shows Fusco, Samoyedy and bystanders as they lifted the 2005 Hyundai Elantra amidst the rubble that included a half-dozen demolished barber chairs off of the pinned woman and child.
"Somebody's gotta pull the baby," a person is heard yelling in the video. Samoyedy, who is a 15-year veteran of the force, was seen pulling the 8-month-old from underneath the vehicle. "I got, I got it, I got the baby," he is heard saying in the video.
Reportedly, the mother, whose name is Mirna, suffered a compound fracture to one of her legs, and the baby has a fractured skull. Both are expected to recover. Mirna’s friend Ariel Nolasco said, “She’s a genuine, kind person. It’s very unfortunate that this happened .... She has a broken leg and a back injury. Mirna is going to be fine. She’s conscious, actually. She’s a little worried she’s not going to be able to walk again.”
“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,” Police Commissioner John Mueller said in a news release. “The actions taken are nothing short of heroic.”
The driver was 43-year-old David Poncurack. He was unlicensed. He was arrested at the scene and charged with driving while intoxicated. He and a female passenger were not injured. "The driver did get out and immediately went over to see if the woman was OK," Samoyedy said.
Poncurak was reportedly given a field sobriety test and consented to blood tests at the scene. A friend of the driver said the jailed suspect was a construction worker/handyman. “Oh, David,” said Mike Babak, 61, of Yonkers. “He’s got a good heart. He’d give you the shirt off his back. He’s like all of us in the sense that he’s his own worst enemy.”