New Jersey State Police bodycam footage showed a trooper in August on the Garden State Parkway, rescuing an eight-year-old boy whose dogs were in the middle of the highway.
“I saw them off of my peripheral vision, I literally put my lights on and I start doing what you see troopers doing in the road, slowing down traffic,” Trooper Jamarr Morris told NBC New York.
The video showed Morris stop even as a few cars barreled down the roadway. He was concerned about what might happen to the child and his pups, so while on the southbound side of the road, he got into his vehicle and reversed as fast as he could.
Nearby, Stephanie Woit had stopped with fellow drivers to help block traffic, and several people got out to assist the boy in grabbing his dogs.
“The little boy looked a little bit in shock, I remember I was close enough to him and I was helping him to see that his lip was quivering, I think he was frightened,” Woit recalled.
Morris dealt with one canine while the child had the other on a leash. Morris, who also owns dogs, said he was prepared to get bitten over the possibility the animal could run into nearby lanes.
“My first choice was to get bit, and if it happens, it happens,” he told the outlet.
The trooper eventually grabbed the dog and walked the boy and the animals over to his patrol vehicle. At that moment, Woit shouted, “You’re a hero.”
However, Morris said he did not view it that way, calling motorists such as Woit the heroes of the situation because they did the right thing by slowing down to help.
In a Facebook post, the New Jersey State Police shared photos of the trooper, the boy, and the pups climbing into the patrol car:
Woit later said of the boy, “His puppies matter to him, his dogs matter to him and in his eyes he was doing a heroic thing too.”
According to the NBC article, Morris drove the child home to his worried parents who were unaware his walk through the woods ended up in the middle of a roadway.