Not all heroes wear capes.
Last month, Officer Carlos Carmo, a school resource officer at Harding High School in Bridgeport, was directing traffic during dismissal time.
Police said that the SUV was going downhill on Boston Ave. with one person in the passenger seat and another in the back seat—minus a driver. The vehicle had apparently been parked on a hill, but somehow began moving.
The car had somehow slipped out of park causing it to roll down the hill with two elderly passengers on board.
“I saw the car was heading towards a barrier and heading towards a group of kids and I ran towards it as best as I could,” Carmo told the news station.
In another angle from another camera, you can see the vehicle roll past a group of students walking home from school with Officer Carmo chasing after it. He said he “grabbed the door frame and held on for dear life.”
“I knew that if I didn’t get that car to stop, at least four or five kids would get hit by the car,” he said.
Carmo was eventually able to stop the vehicle, and only sustained some minor scrapes in the incident.
With a great deal of humility that usually comes from officers in these situations, Carmo was not impressed by what he had done.
“I don’t think I did anything spectacular or special,” he said. “I work at a great department with great officers and any one of them would be able to stop that car.”
Carmo has been with the Bridgeport Police Department for four years. He was recognized for his quick thinking by his chief, as well as by the city’s mayor and city council.
Chief Armando Perez said that he was scared for the officer when he saw the video, but also proud of him for his actions that day.
“Not only is he a hero, but he’s a great father and husband,” Perez told Fox 61. He’s an example to all of the police officers of the department.”
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim and the Bridgeport City Council honored Carmo and his family for his heroic efforts in the line of duty.
Carmo said that these types of things happen on the job but “you have to be on your toes and ready to think fast to keep people safe.”
Doing heroic things seems to come naturally to police officers in Connecticut.
At around 3:24 p.m. on Oct. 29, a 24-year-old man was on the side of the bridge threatening to jump and commit suicide. Off. Eric Horan was the first officer on the scene, and he immediately engaged the man in conversation, according to Enfield Police chief Alaric Fox.
“He proceeded to engage the gentleman, developing enough of a rapport to be able to approach him (with permission) to discuss his issues further,” Fox said. “After another period of discussion the man agreed, at Horan’s request to swing his legs back over to the roadside of the bridge, and eventually, to move off the end of the bridge.”
The man, who was not identified, was transported to a medical facility for evaluation.
“It’s outstanding work on Horan’s part, emblematic of the great work that the men and women of the EPD do every day,” Fox said.
After the incident, the family of the man expressed their appreciation to Horan and the other first responders and citizens who helped save his life. The family, who wished to remain anonymous, wrote a letter to thank Officer Horan.
“In recent years the police have been shown in a negative light by the media. They are described as being cold and uncaring. I would like to share a different view of law enforcement. While it’s true nobody enjoys receiving traffic or parking tickets, please try to remember that this is not their only goal.
Yesterday, I received a police visit that anyone who is a parent dreads. MY SON was the “unidentified, suicidal man on the Suffield Bridge” that Officer Horan saved. We were informed of the situation with our son from a police officer in our town. Having to come to our home to break this news to the young man’s parents could not have been easy to do; in fact she did state this was one of the worst parts of her job.
This wonderful officer remained patient with me and allowed me time to regain some composure enough to ask questions. We were given the number to the Suffield Police Department to receive the information on our son’s condition. They could not have been more sensitive and helpful. These officers then directed me to the Enfield Police Department, and particularly to Officer Horan. They also were kind enough to provide the name of a gentleman that cared enough to stop to see if my son was okay and to call 911.
I stopped by the police stations in Suffield and Enfield today to drop off a small token of thanks for everyone involved. This token was just a grain of sand compared to the massive gift they gave my family. What stands out in my mind the most though, was the way each officer’s face, that started out tough and professional, softened when I told them who I was and why I was there. These people went from being a tough cop to dads and moms, sisters and brothers immediately. They asked how my son was, if he was okay, which hospital he was in, what led up to the terrifying moment yesterday.
I was honestly floored. They don’t know my child, have never seen him before but the care and empathy they showed my son (and us as well) was astonishing. At that moment, my son was their son. He was the only thing that mattered during that small amount of time that could have completely devastated our family had anything gone wrong.
Officer Horan, you especially will forever be in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers. I hope you know that our family is thankful for you and your compassionate heart this coming Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for all of you. And to the two Enfield Police sergeants behind the bulletproof glass, thank you for the laughs. You helped a terrified, shook-up mom feel that in some way, things will turn out okay.”
I can say that I am not surprised what Officer Horan did on that bridge in October. I had the privilege of supervising Eric as his lieutenant prior to my retirement. I knew then that he would turn out to be an outstanding officer and the fact that he did what he did confirms that.
Officers such as Eric and Carlos perform feats like this every day, of every week, of every year. The reason you don’t hear about it is because those who make the loudest noise get the most attention. For every bad apple we read about there are literally hundreds like Eric and Carlos who perform heroically, not for the media attention, but because it is their job and it is their duty.
To them, and to every police officer, thank you for all that you do.
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