Steve St. Bernard, 52, became a local hero after saving the life of his autistic, 7-year-old neighbor.
According to the New York Daily News, the girl had opened the window of her family's third-story apartment in the Brooklyn-area, before crawling out.
She sang and danced as neighboring kids watched in horror from the ground, but soon lost her balance.
The New York Daily News relates:
St. Bernard, who lives in the housing complex, was alerted by the cries of onlookers.
“I went over there to make sure if she fell I could catch her,” St. Bernard said. “I’m not a hero — anybody would have done it. I did it out of normal instincts.”
One of his own four children is the same age as the child who fell, he said.
He said he was just worried he might not manage to catch the child. “I thought to myself, let me get over there and catch her. I just hope I don’t drop her.”
The catch knocked St. Bernard, a father of four, to the ground.
“She fell and she put her hands out,” said witness Jesse Padilla, 9. “Her head hit a bush, but Steve caught the rest of her body.”
Watch the heart-stopping video, below:
The young girl was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but according to reports, is doing just fine.
St. Bernard, an MTA bus driver, was treated for a torn tendon in his left bicep but didn't appear to suffer any serious damage.
"I just prayed that I'd catch her," he explained.
The New York Daily News concludes by discussing city regulations intended to prevent such accidents:
The family was not required to have a window guard installed if there was an air-conditioning unit in the window, a NYCHA spokesman said.
Air conditioners are required to have permanent, structurally sound barriers that leave no opening greater than 41/2 inches in homes with children under 10 in New York City.
NYCHA is investigating the situation, the spokesman said.
WPIX has an interview with the local hero, and some startled neighbors:
(H/T: Daily Mail)