Woman uses two-way radio to help save police officer on Staten Island

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Jim Dolan reports from Mariners Harbor. (WABC)

A woman helped to save a police officer who was unconscious after he crashed his car on Staten Island.

She was so calm. When her cell phone didn't work that's when she called police using the officer's two-way radio.

The violent collision in Mariner's Harbor took down a tree and a fence and one of the people inside one vehicle was unresponsive.

A woman passing by thought the victim might be a police officer in plain clothes, and then she noticed his radio.

"How the big Chevy got between the tree and the house without killing people, I couldn't begin to guess," said Paul McGinn, an eyewitness.

Paul McGinn lives around the corner, but it happened right in front of John Conry.

"He hit the tree, and the tracks go from that tree rebounding through here, right across here besides this tree and angled it right at the fence and it took the whole fence down," Conry said.

Debbie Nocerino was just coming back from grocery shopping.

"I hear kids screaming 'he's dead', so I run across the street, I opened up the passenger door, and a man was lying across the seat of the car," said Debbie Nocerino, an eyewitness. "I didn't know who it was at first."

Debbie got out of her car and ran to the victim's side. She realized quickly that he was a plain clothes police officer. He was also unconscious and definitely needed medical help. Debbie tried to use her phone, but it didn't work.

"I was in the passenger side like on the floor sitting face to face with him saying, 'Hi my name is Debbie, I'm with you, I'm not going to leave you until help comes.' And I saw lying there was his radio right next to him," Nocerino said.

"Hello, hello? There was a police officer that was in an accident. There's an officer down," Nocerino said in the radio transmission.

She used that police radio to get help and gave them the address on Lisk Avenue.

"I'm talking to him," Nocerino said.

"Do you know his name?" the operator said.

"He's breathing, but he's not conscious," Nocerino said. "I'm talking to him, I'm talking to him."

Debbie stayed with him, determined to protect the officer even from well-intentioned people.

"Kids came; they were 21 or 22 years old. They wanted to move him, get him out of the car. But I said, 'Oh no, you can't touch him, leave him alone.' I said, 'If he broke his neck or something you're going to kill him,'" Nocerino said.

The police officer turned out to be OK; he was released from the hospital just the other day.

Debbie says that she is just happy that she could do what so many police officers do every day, help out.
Related Topics:
police officer injuredcar crashcar accidentrescueMariner's Harbor
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