NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Two Yale Police officers are being hailed as heroes after they found a stolen car with a 6-month-old inside last week.
Last week, Hamden police said they got a report of a stolen car with a baby inside. They said the driver of the car went into a store, leaving the keys in the ignition and baby in the car. That’s when, police said, 37-year-old Richardson Wong-Aponte hopped-in and took off, taking the baby with him.
Hamden police put out the urgent call for help to surrounding agencies.
“We all started looking for this vehicle,” said Officer Maurice Staggers, of the Yale Police Department.
Yale Police Officers Maurice Staggers and Otilio Green were among those looking for the stolen car and baby. They told News 8, they spotted a car that matched the description. They followed the car into a gas station on Whalley Avenue and moved-in to get a closer look.
“Officer Green immediately knew that was the vehicle we were looking for,” explained Officer Staggers. “I went over to check and make sure the baby was inside.”
Officer Green placed the suspect under arrest and Officer Staggers placed the baby, who was in a car seat and unharmed, into their patrol car.
“We were putting ourselves in the father’s and the mother’s shoes,” said Officer Green. “We’re just happy we found him!”
They said the baby’s father rushed over to the gas station to reunite with his son.
“It was a relief to see him in his dad’s arms,” said Officer Green. “It was nice.”
Officers Green and Staggers said it was a team effort.
“Any one of the other officers would have done the same thing,” said Officer Staggers. “[We’re] just happy that the baby is home and safe with their family.”
As fathers themselves, Officers Staggers and Green said it’s even more gratifying to know there’s a happy ending to a terrifying ordeal.