Quick-thinking cops in Tonawanda, New York, are being commended after smashing the window of a smoking car and rescuing the man inside.
Officers Sarah Heft and Alyxander Pasquale responded to the scene April 28 after receiving reports about a vehicle hitting a pole and going through a fence.
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The cops “found the vehicle parked on the grass within the fenced-in area,” according to a statement from the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
But that’s not all they discovered.
Heft and Pasquale immediately noticed the car’s interior was on fire — and a man was locked inside. So, they “hurriedly attempted” to force their way into the “smoke-filled and flame engulfed” car.
Officers finally got Saverio Depinto, 46, out of the vehicle, with Officer Jacob McCormick dragging him away from the scene just before the situation turned potentially deadly.
The harrowing ordeal was captured on bodycam footage (caution: language):
“Open the door!” one officer yells as she smashes the window. “Unlock the car, man!”
Cops were able to get Depinto out of the car as smoke and flame raged inside. And it seems it was just in time, as WKBW-TV reported that cops’ actions came “moments before [the car] burst into flames.”
Depinto, who allegedly “showed signs of drug-induced impairment,” is now facing charges.
Meanwhile, Officers Heft, Pasquale, and McCormick are being “commended for their decisive actions in performance of lifesaving actions,” according to the Town of Tonawanda Police Department.
Thankfully, a life was saved amid the chaos.
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