Bridgeport, CT – A quick-thinking Bridgeport police officer saved a group of schoolchildren from being mowed down by a driverless SUV by using his superhuman strength to drag the vehicle to a stop (video below).
“We go through a lot of scenarios, but that’s not a scenario they teach us in the academy,” Bridgeport Police Officer Carlos Carmo told Good Morning America.
The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, as the uniformed school resource officer was directing traffic on Boston Avenue outside Harding High School, News 12 reported.
Security footage showed Officer Carmo standing in the crosswalk as a black SUV drove past him down the busy roadway.
No one was behind the wheel, but two passengers inside the vehicle were frantic.
Investigators later discovered that the SUV had slipped out of park and merged into traffic as it gained momentum on a downhill slope, Good Morning America reported.
By the time it blew past Officer Carmo, the vehicle was beginning to veer towards a group of unsuspecting students who were walking down a nearby sidewalk.
"I was just thinking in my mind, 'I got to find a way to stop this,'" Officer Carmo told Good Morning America.
The officer screamed at the students to get their attention as he sprinted down the street after the SUV.
“They all had headphones on,” he told Good Morning America. “They basically didn’t hear me. I don’t even think they knew what was going on until it was over.”
Within seconds, the four-year veteran-of-the-force closed the gap between himself and the out-of-control vehicle, and grabbed onto the sliding door on the passenger side, the video showed.
The door slid open, at which point Officer Carmo grabbed onto the frame and used every ounce of his strength to drag the SUV to a stop before it could jump the curb and slam into the oblivious teens.
"My adrenaline basically kicked in at that point,” he recalled. “I used my strength while dragging my feet along the ground…before the SUV could collide with anyone or anything.”
The passengers inside the SUV – one of whom was an elderly woman – were screaming and frightened, but uninjured during the incident, Good Morning America reported.
Officer Carmo suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“He saved someone’s life,” Bridgeport Police Lieutenant Paul Grech told News 12. “It could have been a tragic day for these students that could’ve been run over by this runaway vehicle.”
“I take my hat off to him and all the officers – not just in Bridgeport – but around the state and the country, putting their life on the line,” Lt. Grech said.
On Monday, Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim praised Officer Carmo for his brave and selfless actions, the Connecticut Post reported.
“It was spur-of-the-moment, you put your own life at risk, and you saved the people that were in the vehicle, people the vehicle was headed towards,” Ganim said in a press release. “On behalf of a grateful City, I want to say thank you very much.”
Officer Carmo will be presented with a citation and proclamation by Ganim and the Bridgeport City Council on Jan. 6.
“He is an inspiration to the Police Department and the City of Bridgeport,” the mayor said in the release, according to the Connecticut Post.
You can watch security footage of Officer Carmo’s heroic actions in the video below: