A New York police officer jumped into a moving car to rescue a toddler from her allegedly intoxicated mother Thursday afternoon.
Suffolk Highway Patrol Officer Joseph Goss came across Maria Lagatta driving too slowly down the highway, Fox 13 reported Sunday.
Goss tried to conduct a traffic stop, but Lagatta refused to stop the car, claiming she couldn’t. Goss drove up beside Lagatta’s car and noticed her 22-month-old daughter sitting in the back seat.
“I’m a dad myself … the first thing we do as a police officer is scan the car for threats, and the biggest threat I saw was (to) the safety of that child getting rear-ended,” Goss said of the situation.
Lagatta eventually slowed down to five miles per hour, and Goss quickly slowed down traffic so Lagatta and her child would not get rear-ended.
The officer then sped past Lagatta and parked a little way off on the side of the highway. He waited until Lagatta’s car came close to him and then jumped into the car through a passenger seat window.
“That window that she rolled down to tell me that she can’t pull over was actually the window of opportunity to stop the vehicle,” Goss explained.
He was able to bring the car to a full stop. Lagatta and her daughter were uninjured in the process.
Police charged the New York woman with endangering the welfare of a child, driving while ability impaired by drugs and aggravated driving while intoxicated by with a child passenger under the age of 15.
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