A 1-year-old girl is recovering after she was run over by a Boston police cruiser in the city's Roxbury neighborhood on Monday.
The incident happened around 7 p.m. in the area of 618 Shawmut Ave. Surveillance footage showed the cruiser pulling out from a curb and knocking the child to the ground.
A man wearing a yellow T-shirt rushed to the child to help her while the girl's mother, who was standing nearby, appeared frantic and dropped what she was holding.
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Chris Pendigrast, the man who ran to the girl's aid, told NBC10 Boston he didn't think twice about helping someone else's child, especially since he has children of his own. The father of four boys said his parental instincts just kicked in.
"As she was under the car, I was already running to the scene, so I was able to just grab her and pick her up and just hold her because she was in shock and I wasn't sure what was wrong with her," Pendigrast said.
He said he made sure the girl was breathing and then held her until the ambulance and the rest of the arriving officers got to the scene.
"She had scuff marks, she was bleeding a little," he said. "She had scars on her head, tire prints on her body. I just held her."
The girl's mother said her daughter suffered a broken collarbone.
"She's doing OK. She’s doing all right," the girl's mother said. "She just asks for a speedy recovery, that’s it.
Pendigrast said he was relieved to learn the girl would be OK.
"I spoke to the mom last night when she came from the hospital," he said. "She saw me and she came right over to me and thanked me for being there for her child."
Boston Police Commissioner William Gross released a statement Tuesday saying he was happy that the child was recovering from her injuries and that his department was investigating how the incident happened.
"I am glad to hear that the young girl involved in last night’s incident is recuperating from her injuries and is expected to make a full recovery," said Gross. "Investigators continue to investigate this incident, although preliminary findings are leading to this being an accident. The Boston Police Department works hard everyday to keep residents safe, and I can tell you that this is any police officers' worst nightmare. I ask for everyone to keep the young girl and her family in our thoughts as she recovers."