When 52-year-old Stephen St. Bernard, an MTA bus driver from Brooklyn, spotted 7-year-old Keyla McCree standing perilously close to the edge of an AC unit outside a third-story apartment in Coney Island, he immediately rushed to the rescue.
"I said to myself, ‘Let me get over to her in time," St. Bernard, a father of four who lives in the same apartment complex, told the New York Post. "I made it just in time."
Footage of the harrowing ordeal shows Keyla leaping towards the ground as St. Bernard reaches up to grab her. "This was the biggest catch of my life," St. Bernard said. "She just looked shocked."
Police believe Keyla, who is autistic, pushed back one of partitions holding the air conditioner in place and stepped out onto the unit. Her mother, Shaleema, was in the apartment at the time, but didn't notice what Keyla was doing as she was busy watching her other child.
The girl suffered very minor injuries and was taken to Coney Island Hospital. St. Bernard, on the other hand, sustained a torn tendon in his shoulder, but said it was a small price to pay for saving a life.