NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The good Samaritan who caught a falling child from a third-story window in Brooklyn got a warm embrace Tuesday from the girl's appreciative mother.
In an emotional reunion, Shaleema McCree hugged Steve St. Bernard and thanked him for saving her daughter from a dangerous fall at the Coney Island Houses. The entire incident was captured by a neighbor on a cell phone camera.
The 7-year-old special-needs child fell from the air conditioner, that she somehow managed to climb on, and into the waiting arms of a stranger who positioned himself for a spectacular catch.
"Thank you so much," McCree told St. Bernard.
"Yeah, my baby said, 'Daddy you're a hero.' If my baby thinks I'm a hero, then I'm ok," St. Bernard told CBS 2's John Slattery.
St. Bernard, an MTA bus driver, is also being applauded by the teen who shot the pictures.
"Steve is a hero. That's a cool dude. I'm happy he was there," said witness Donovan Serrano.
Serrano looked out his window and saw a little girl standing on a window air conditioner.
"I look out the window. I see her on the AC and stuff. I was just scared," Serrano said.
Someone told him the police had already been called, so he continued shooting. McCree was surprised like everyone else.
St. Bernard, who was on his way home from work, heard a commotion, and saw young Keyla McCree up some 30 feet up.
What did he think?
"Let me catch her. First don't let her fall, then let me catch her," he said.
Witnesses said the air conditioner was offset to one side. The little girl apparently pulled back an accordion-style partition that is supposed to be secured to the window.
She slipped through the gap and climbed on top of the window unit. Surprisingly, she was unhurt from the fall. Her savior suffered a torn tendon in a bicep.
A spokesman for the city's Administration for Children's Service said an investigation has been opened into the incident.
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