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Lyndhurst PD Rescues Mom, Newborn Trapped In Apartment After Dad's Car Runs Out Of Gas

Lyndhurst Police Sgt. Paul Haggerty (right), Officer Steven Passamano / INSET: Malachi
Lyndhurst Police Sgt. Paul Haggerty (right), Officer Steven Passamano / INSET: Malachi Photo Credit: COURTESY: Lyndhurst PD

Lyndhurst Police Sgt. Rick Pizzuti could hear a newborn baby cry as the mother on the other end of the line – unable to get to her front door – pleaded for help.

The baby's father was on the other side of town when his car ran out of gas, she said. Come quick.

Moments later, a team of borough officers forced their way in, cut the umbilical cord and wrapped the infant in clean towels while awaiting an ambulance.

Seeking help after the dad's car stalled, 31-year-old Delia Sumner dialed 911 at 8:12 a.m. Tuesday and got Pizzuti.

Arriving at the Union At Lyndhurst Apartments near Route 17 moments later were:

  • Sgt. Paul Haggerty;
  • Lt. Michael Carrino;
  • Officers Steven Passamano, Russ Albecker, Phillip Reina, Michael LeStrange and Elizabeth Hollenbeck.

“They could hear the baby crying,” Auteri said. “And they could hear the mother calling for help.

“The front door was locked," he said. "She couldn’t get there, though, because of the pain she was in and the way she and the baby were situated.”

After forcing their way in, the officers found Sumner kneeling up against her bed, with newborn Malachi on his back on the floor.

The officers attended to both before Lyndhurst Police Emergency Squad members Eric Engelhardt, Mina Ekladious, Stephanie Ragucci arrived and took over.

And the proud new pop?

Michael Roberts set out to run the two miles home from the Rutherford Avenue exit off Route 3 but caught a lift from a good Samaritan instead.

While mother and child were being transported to Hackensack Regional Medical Center, an officer took him to get gas.

All that remained was for Auteri to coordinate the officers’ appearance at an impromptu news conference scheduled for early Wednesday afternoon at HUMC.

“It’s fitting that each [officer] wanted to be sure that all the others will be there,” the sergeant said. “It was a team effort all the way.”

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