A New Jersey police officer has been called “a hero” after catching a 1-month-old infant who had been thrown from a second-floor balcony.
The quick-thinking Eduardo Matute caught the child safely while city officer Joseph Casey negotiated with the suspect, but he eventually threw the infant on Saturday, Sept. 18.
The one-month-old was sent to the hospital for observation but was subsequently released.
Moments earlier, the man was seen “dangling a baby over a balcony” on Rose Avenue.
“I look and I see that the neighbor had the baby dangling from the roof. So I wasn’t too sure what was going on,” said a neighbor according to News 4 Tucson. “Just to find out that it was an altercation with him and his wife.”
Another unidentified neighbor stood on his front porch and kept an eye on the situation.
“And he was not playing. He kept telling the cops to back up or I’m dropped this baby, like back up,” he recalled of the horrifying event. “He kept wanting to get his point across but it was back up. He was using the baby as leverage.”
“An extremely dangerous incident developed this morning on Rose Ave in Jersey City in which a man was threatening a one-month-old baby,” said Esther Suarez, a Hudson County Prosecutor. “Kudos to the JCPD and all the officers involved for their heroics and for bringing a safe conclusion to this dangerous situation.”
“We especially want to acknowledge the actions & bravery of the negotiator and first-responding PO Joseph Casey, South District PO Eduardo Matute who safely caught the baby when it was dropped from a 2nd floor balcony and Incident Commander Capt Michael McKerry. Thank you, Officers!” she went on to say.
“We are lucky to have the men and woman of the JCPD, as every single day I see it firsthand they rise to meet any/all challenges,” said Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, according to the New York Post.
Jersey City spokesperson Kimberly Wallace-Scalcione said that the man who dropped the baby was apprehended and charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, and endangering a child’s life. The incident is under investigation.
The man was known as a “good father,” and the occurrence surprised neighbors because they had never heard or seen any commotion coming from the house.
The identity of those concerned has not been revealed.
An extremely dangerous incident developed this morning on Rose Ave in Jersey City in which a man was threatening a one-month-old baby. Kudos to the JCPD and all the officers involved for their heroics and for bringing a safe conclusion to this dangerous situation.— ProsecutorSuarezHCPO (@HCPOProsecutor) September 18, 2021