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Neighbors Come To Rescue Of Phila. Police Officer Involved In Crash

By Walt Hunter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Kensington neighbors suddenly found themselves in the role of Good Samaritans at 9 a.m. Thursday as they rescued an injured officer from his wrecked police car at Jasper Street and Allegheny Avenue.

Philadelphia Police say the officer, a 19-year veteran assigned to the 24th District, crashed into a pole, after a car u-turned in front of him as he responded, activating his lights and siren, to an "assist officer" call.

Lt. John Stanford says the officer's car struck the vehicle, making a u-turn in front of him, the police car than crashing into a pole.

"I've never seen anything like it," neighbor Lynn Harmon told CBS 3's Walt Hunter, "car parts were just flying."

Neighbors acted quickly, helping the bleeding and dazed officer out of his twisted car, then staying as his side as help began arriving.

"We took the cop out of the car," explained Good Samaritan Elvio Flaco. "He said, 'help, help.'"

Despite damaged wires sparking overhead, surveillance video obtained by CBS 3 shows the rescuers never hesitated.

"We seen them flames shooting out of the holes right there, we thought everything was gonna just blow up," Steve Pisano told Hunter.

"We all just ran and got him out," said rescuer Anthony Joyner, "we didn't care nothing, we just wanted to get the officer out."

Lt. Stanford says neither the officer, nor the civilian driver, suffered life-threatening injuries and they were expected to be released from the hospital after treatment.

Expressing the department's gratitude to the neighbors, Lt. Stanford commented, "we know neighbors serve as our eyes and ears, but this shows they also give us a helping hand."

"We all helped him and pulled him out of the car," concluded Good Samaritan Anthony Joyner.

"It was beautiful, the neighborhood just came together."

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