Hero alert: Police officer in New Jersey catches 1-month-old baby dropped from balcony

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JERSEY CITY, NJ – A Jersey City Police officer is being credited with saving a 1-month-old baby, after catching the child who was reportedly dropped from a second-floor balcony earlier in September.

While the officer is being lauded as a hero, the suspect accused of dropping the baby was taken into custody and is facing some serious charges regarding the incident.

According to reports, Jersey City Police responded to a call about a child in danger along Rose Avenue on the morning of September 18th. Apparently, a male suspect was threatening a child.

When police responded, the male suspect was threatening to throw the child from the second story balcony.

Police established a perimeter and attempted to negotiate with the suspect, but police say the suspect threw the child from the balcony. Luckily, the child was caught by Officer Eduardo Matute, as noted by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office via a Twitter post:

“An extremely dangerous incident developed this morning on Rose Ave in Jersey City in which a man was threatening a one-month-old baby. Kudos to the JCPD and all the officers involved for their heroics and for bringing a safe conclusion to this dangerous situation.”

“We especially want to acknowledge the actions & bravery of the negotiator and first-responding PO Joseph Casey, South District PO Eduardo Matute who safely caught the baby after being dropped from a 2nd floor balcony & Incident Commander Capt Michael McKerry. Thank you, Officers!”

Jersey City spokesperson Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione stated that the suspect has since been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

As a precautionary measure, the child was taken to an area hospital to be examined and was later discharged.

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop shared a photo to Instagram of Officer Matute holding the child while at the hospital, sharing details of the incident and ending the caption with praising the outcome and actions taken by responding officers:

“Thankfully the baby wasn’t harmed physically. We are lucky to have the men and woman of the JCPD, as every single day I see it firsthand they rise to meet any/all challenges.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Steven Fulop (@stevenfulopjc)

Authorities have not released the identity of the suspect at this time.

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Report: Hero 10-year-old girl saves grandmother who was set on fire by ex-boyfriend

(Originally published September 8th, 2021)

SAN ANTONIO, TX- According to reports, a 10-year-old girl is being hailed as a hero for saving her grandmother’s life after her ex-boyfriend allegedly set her on fire during a dispute.

The family said that the victim, since identified as 57-year-old Deborah Romo, has been in an abusive relationship with 43-year-old Roberto Cocolan. The family said they knew of some instances of abuse, but felt their mother was always too scared to leave. 

Ashley Valdez, Romo’s daughter, added:

“One thing about my mother is that she was very good at hiding things, so we didn’t know it would ever get to this point.”

Around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31st, when Romo was getting off work, an argument with her ex-boyfriend escalated. According to police, Nevaeh Gallegos, her granddaughter, witnessed the entire incident. Nevaeh said:

“I heard them arguing. Then I saw my grandma go put on her pajamas and Robert went to take a shower. My grandma was sitting on the couch and then Robert started arguing about his

She said things got quiet, but afterward, she witnessed something no child should ever have to see. Nevaeh recalled what happened next:

“I heard my grandma screaming and then she was on the couch, but I saw her on the floor. He was standing and pouring gas on her and she was crying. I pushed him and tried to hit him, but he still continued doing it.”

San Antonio police said after pouring gas on Romo, Cocolan allegedly used a lighter to ignite her on fire. Nevaeh said:

“I was sad because I couldn’t help her more. I started crying because I couldn’t find my grandma because of all the smoke. I then heard her tell me to get my tio Martin next door.”

That is when Nevaeh grabbed her 2-year-old sister, put a blanket over her face to prevent smoke inhalation, and rand next door to get help. The family said they had to use mop water to put the fire out. The victim’s daughter, Amber Vega, said:

“I believe he planned this. He cut the water off to the house before doing this. There was no running water in the household, so we had to use water in the mop bucket.”

Reportedly, the fire resulted in 35 percent of Romo’s body being covered in burns. Vega added:

“She has burns from her face, ears, arms, all the way down. Second and third degree burns.”

The family said they are beyond angry with Cocolan and do not have any forgiveness for what he did to Romo. Jay Gallegos, the victim’s son-in-law added:

“I have no words. For him to do something like this in front of my children and to my beautiful mother-in-law. He tried to take her beauty away from her. All I would say is, ‘why?’”

Romo is a certified nursing assistant at Christus Santa Rose and her family said that she loved her job so much she would work 12-hour shifts, even days a week. Her son, Michael Vega, said:

“She impacted so many people. Anyone who knew her loved her. I just thank everyone for helping until this man was caught.”

Vega added:

“She is still going to be beautiful. She has lost nothing. She still has everything – family, friends, and her beauty. She is still beautiful.”

The family wants this horrific incident to help raise awareness for domestic violence. Valdez said:

“Even if you are scared, speak up and tell someone. Reach out for help. You are not alone. There are many resources out there for you.”

Vega added:

“My mother is a strong fighter. I would say you fight and defend yourself and get out. The people will eventually get what they deserve and I am going to make sure he (Cocolan) doesn’t get parole.”

She said:

“I want him to sit in there and I want him to suffer the way my mom is having to sit in that hospital and go through that pain.”

According to reports, Cocolan was later arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing serious bodily injury and arson. His bond has been set at $500,000.

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Say her name: DC officer saves nine lives within first year of working on the streets

(Originally published August 16th, 2021)

WASHINGTON, DC – A DC Metropolitan Police officer is garnering some well-deserved accolades from colleagues and members of the community, as this officer is being credited with saving nine lives within her first year of working on the streets as an MPDC officer.

Officer Taylor Brandt was first hired by the DC Police back in December of 2019. Shortly after being sworn in as a police officer, Officer Brandt found herself tending to a gunshot wound victim.

It was two weeks after she had started her field training, where she recounted the incident that led to saving her first life:

“We saw a guy laying in the roadway concerned for his wellbeing. He states he had been shot multiple times but we had no calls for a shooting, no sounds of gunshots and nothing pending.”

“Police generally arrive on the scene first. We are the first on scene to provide medical care and our first goal is to preserve life which results in preventing blood loss.”

Two weeks into being on the field, and Officer Brandt was already employing her Tactical Emergency Casual Care training. Officer Brandt said that most of the victims she saved so early on in her career have been the victims of gunshot wounds:

“Lots and lots of gunshot wounds unfortunately. We have a lot of problems with gun violence in the city currently.”

After working on the streets for one year, which Officer Brandt celebrated this August, she’s come to know the problematic areas that suffer from violent crime:

“It really runs the gambit of the kind of violence and injuries you see in the sixth district.”

With having been credited with saving nine lives during her time on the field, Officer Brandt came to realize that rendering that much life-saving aid is a not-so-common occurrence regarding that frequency.

Commander of MPD Academy training, Ralph Ennis, commented on Officer Brandt’s performance since having taken up the badge:

“I would challenge you to find one other police officer in this country that has saved nine people. It just doesn’t happen. She truly understands that policing is about helping people.”

MPDC first rolled out Tactical Emergency Casual Care (TECC) training back in 2014, which Commander Ennis is pleased to see how well that training has worked out for Officer Brandt and her colleagues:

“When I first came on police department, I have seen so many people die in front of me because we didn’t have this level of training and now that we have equipment and training, it’s very refreshing to know that we are giving people another chance at life.”

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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