NY officer jumps into moving car to save child

The child’s mother is suspected of driving high on drugs


By PoliceOne Staff

MANORVILLE, N.Y. — An officer is being hailed as a hero after he jumped into a moving car to save a child.

Officer Joe Goss said he saw Maria Lagatta, 37, driving slowly on the expressway and tried to pull her over, NBC New York reported

Goss said he suspected she was on drugs and gasped when saw her toddler in the backseat. 

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“I roll down my window, and the motorist rolled down her window as well,” Goss told the news station. “I told her to pull over, and with the window down she told me, ‘I can't.’”


He said he immediately tried to slow down traffic to make it safer to stop the car. 

When Lagatta’s car slowed to 5 mph, Goss said he passed her, parked his cruiser and jumped in through the passenger-side window, according to the news station. 

“I didn't Superman into the car or anything like that,” he said. “I'm pretty tall so I was able to lean up. All I had to do was move one of my feet up, like a pool shot move. I was able to lean in, and so once I got my hand on it, her hand was on the shifter as well, so we just forced it right into park.”

No one was hurt in the incident. 
 
“All your training says, don't go into a moving car, and I didn't like the idea of it, but when the window of opportunity was there, and her speed is so slow, I jumped at it,” Goss said. “I'm fortunate it worked out the way it did.”

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