27 years later: 2 retired NYPD officers reunite with child they saved
Two retired NYPD officers reunited with a child they saved in a Manhattan car fire over two decades ago. That person is now an officer in Brooklyn's 90th Precinct.
Officers Ocasio and Claudio saw liquid, which turned out to be gasoline, spewing out of a car, when they noticed a woman and child inside the smoke-filled car.
The child inside was 2-year-old Dennise Gomez.
"The officers that once saved our lives is actually here today, and I actually got to meet them," said Gomez. "It was an honor."
NYPD Officer Gomez said she was too young to recall the events of that day, but when her mother showed her the news article, it was at that moment she knew she wanted to be a cop.
"I remember in fifth grade I was at the assembly, and the topic was, 'who do you want to be when you grow up?' And I actually dressed up like a whole police officer," said Gomez. "I remember that. So that's how far I remember since I was in like fifth grade."
Gomez was also given a new shield number: 15417. The shield number belonged to Officer Ocasio while he was serving. It also was worn by her colleague, who gave up his shield number just for her.
"[It was a] no brainer," said Christopher Colon, NYPD officer. "No hesitation at all. She deserved it. I understand the history that comes with it. And there you go."
This reunion came to fruition after a casual conversation on Christmas Eve between Gomez and Lt. Officer Jose Luis Caraballo. She told him the story, and he knew he had to make this happen."
"A lot of guys go retired in this profession and never get to really see what happens after once they leave the job and we go on radio run to radio run," said Caraballo. "We affect so many people's lives to see something come full circle like this, especially for these guys is a beautiful thing."
The officers say they are proud of Gomez and are excited to see all her accomplishments in her career.