NYPD officer reunites with 2 retired officers who saved her as a child in Harlem

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Saturday, January 13, 2024
NYPD officer reunites with 2 retired officers who saved her as a child
Raegan Medgie has the story.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- To understand why retired Police detectives Eric Ocasio and Charles Claudio were moved to tears, you would have to go back to 27 years ago when the pair worked together at the 25 Precinct in East Harlem.

It was back on July 25, 1996, at the intersection of E. 116th Street and Park Avenue - Ocasio and Claudio, who were on patrol noticed something odd - a car leaking fluid. They felt something was off.

The vehicle then went up in flames - the officers jumping into action, breaking the window, and rescuing a mother, her one-year-old son, and her two-year-old daughter.

"You don't think about anything," said retired Detective Charles Claudio.

That incident inspired the 2-year-old girl to become Officer Denise Gomez.

"They saved our life - they were our heroes - all heroes don't have capes," Gomez said.

For the first time, Officer Gomez had the honor of meeting the two officers who rescued her, her brother, and mother that day.

"Like wow - they're real!" Gomez added.

As if the reunion was not beautiful enough, Police Commissioner Edward Caban made an announcement.

"I am proud to present Denise with shield number 15417," he said

"Now I know I have to make them proud," Gomez said.

The ripple effect of heroism continues with Officer Gomez.

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