NYPD officers dress up as superheroes for hospital patients in Brooklyn

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- If laughter is the best medicine, these crime fighters certainly delivered. The Hulk, Thor, and fellow superheroes helped spread compassion and good cheer Thursday night as they visited four hospitals in Brooklyn, handing out gifts and hugs. Even the staff at Wyckoff Hospital got a kick out of Spider-Man posing at the nurse's station.

"My daughter's very happy. She saw Santa, Spider-Man, Captain America. She loved them all," said Lisa Marchese, patient's mother.

It's not easy being sick any time of the year. It is especially hard during the holidays, when families gather celebrate.

For one toddler, meeting Captain America in the emergency room may have been a bit too much drama, but really, it was a thrill for most patients.

"I thought it was amazing, brightened up my day. I don't get visitors. It's cool. Gave me a gift. Made me feel special. They made me feel more than sick," said Grace Marchese, a patient.

Santa and his Avengers are actually police officers from Brooklyn North. This is their third annual toy run. They delivered more than 400 gifts. As the assistant chief explains, this is what community policing should look like.

"We want them to be excited when they see us not only as police officers, they see superheroes. We have gifts for them. Not only does it have positive impact on children. Has positive impact on families," said Assistant Chief Jeffrey Maddrey, NYPD, Brooklyn North.

The Justice League also make a special house call. Back on June 8th, Domingo Diego-Tapia was riding his bike home when he was suddenly attacked. The fall left the 38-year-old husband and father in a coma for more than six months now.

Thursday night, the caped crusaders and friends made a personal stop to the victim's family, to make sure these boys know they are not forgotten.

"She's going through a hard time. She's very thankful. They go through their rough moments but today they were very happy," said a friend as she translated for Esther Diaz, the victim's wife.

"Their faces, their jaws drop. Excitement. Such a good feeling. Amazing to be a part of it. Proud of the department," said Officer Michael Hertrich, NYPD, Spider-Man.

Action hero movies may be box office hits, but up close and personal, these police officers proved to be real life heroes.
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