NYPD officers speak out after ushering kids to safety during U-Haul rampage in Brooklyn

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Thursday, February 16, 2023
NYPD officers speak out after ushering kids to safety during U-haul rampage
Derick Waller reports on how the officers jumped into action.

BAY RIDGE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The NYPD officers who jumped into action to clear dozens of children off the street in Brooklyn during a deadly U-Haul truck rampage are speaking out.

Body camera video showed the officers ushering elementary school children out of harm's way on Monday morning.

Officers John Santini, Frank Ingebrethsen and Lt. John Vitale said the runaway U-Haul that mowed down nine people was only about a block away when they responded to Bay Ridge Prep on Ridge Blvd.

"I said to myself we have to get these kids out of the street," Santini said.

"We just came out of the car and ushered all the children expeditiously into the front of the school," Vitale said.

Ingebrethsen works in Community Affairs and he knew Bay Ridge Prep participated in the city's Open Streets program.

"I knew it was a nice day and they were most likely going to be outside," Ingebrethsen said.

Parents said seeing the body cam video made them nervous.

"It's terrifying and it's very scary and it immediately made me emotional," parent Ashley Sobol said.

And while the actions of the officers are being commended, there are some lingering questions about the actions of some other officers that day.

This decision to pursue that truck onto the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians, is under review.

An NYPD memo says:

"Department policy requires that a vehicle pursuit be terminated whenever the risks to uniformed members of the service and the public outweigh the danger to the community if suspect is not immediately apprehended."

So far, Commissioner Keechant Sewell has only said it will all be part of the investigation.

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