“Please Let Me Catch Her, Please Let Me Catch Her. That’s All I Could Say. Let Me Catch the Little Baby”

On 16 July 2012 in Brooklyn, New York, Stephen St. Bernard, age 52, an African-American Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) city bus driver, heard screams. He rushed to the building courtyard from which the screams were coming and saw a seven-year-old girl teetering on an air conditioner outside a third-floor apartment. He said, “She just stood up there teetering, teetering.” She fell. Mr. St. Bernard said that he was thinking, “Please let me catch her, please let me catch her. That’s all I could say. Let me catch the little baby.” He has a daughter about the same age as the girl who fell. He said, “I think about my daughter, and you know, she’s a little kid.” He caught the falling girl. He said, “I picked her up and carried her, and I was holding her, rubbing her, and she just more or less kept looking around. She never closed her eyes; she didn’t lose consciousness.” Paramedics took her to Coney Island Hospital; she had very minor injuries. The girl’s aunt, Monique Harding, said about Mr. St. Bernard, “He’s my hero. He definitely did our family a favor today.” The girl has autism, and she climbed on top of the air conditioner while her mother was watching other children. Mr. St. Bernard suffered a torn tendon when he caught the girl. His daughter, Tahaani, said, “The child was like almost like my age, so like he always carries me, so I guess he’d probably be able to catch her.”

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