A police officer from Connecticut is being hailed a hero after racing to stop an out-of-control SUV from plowing into a group of teenagers walking home after school.
The incredible moment was captured on a traffic security camera and would be hard to believe without the footage.
In the video, officer Carlos Carmo Jr. notices a driverless car rolling down the street with two people still inside. He starts to chase after the vehicle and then grabs onto a door handle while dragging his feet, using all of this strength and energy to slow the car to a stop.
According to a later investigation, the vehicle had been parked on a nearby street when, for an unexplained reason, it slipped out of park and merged into traffic — picking up speed once it hit a downhill slope. There was one person in the passenger seat and another in the back seat, police say.
"I was just thinking in my mind, 'I've got to find a way to stop this,'" Carmo told "Good Morning America."
To Carmo's horror, a group of teenagers walking on the sidewalk nearby had their headphones in and could not hear him calling for them to get to safety.
"I don't even think they knew what was going on until it was over," Carmo said. "The people in the car, as I was holding it and trying to stop it, they were freaking out a little bit, they were screaming."
Carmo says that his quick-thinking was powered by instinct and duty to protect citizens.
"We go through a lot of scenarios, but that's not a scenario they teach us in the academy," he explained. "It's just one of those things where your instinct kicks in and you basically do what you got to do to keep these kids safe."
Carmo did sustain minor injuries after his heroic endeavors and was briefly treated at a nearby hospital. Nobody inside the car or any of the students on the pavement nearby were hurt.
Mayor Joseph P. Ganim says Carmo will be recognized for his bravery and selflessness in this unusual emergency situation.