Rockland County man disarms terror suspect

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ByJoe Torres via WABC logo
Monday, November 6, 2017
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Joe Torres has more on Billy Harris' heroic actions.

PEARL RIVER, New York (WABC) -- He is a Marine veteran, volunteer firefighter and dedicated father. But now Billy Harris of Pearl River has yet another title: New York Hero.

The 41-year-old was in his work vehicle last week when Sayfullo Saipov crashed his rented pickup into a school bus in TriBeCa.

Harris exited his vehicle and chased the terror suspect, who police say mowed down pedestrians and bicyclists along the West Street bike path.

After responding officers shot Saipov, Harris approached the injured suspect and kicked away his pellet gun and paintball gun.

"It just seemed like the right thing to do. I didn't want to be on the sideline," Billy Harris said.

Haris says he then fell immediately to his knees and put his hands on his head, just to make things crystal clear to responding officers.

He told Eyewitness News that the really scary part came later, a phone call to his wife who was trick-or-treating with their son and daughter.

"He said, 'Honey, I'm sorry. I just took down a shooter near the World Trade Center.' And my girlfriend took the stroller because she saw me turn three shades of gray," said Casey Harris, Billy's wife. "And I said, 'What are you talking about? You have two kids at home!'"

He said he would have done the same thing if they were real firearms.


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