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Baby's father: Joe Torre's daughter made heroic catch

Baby's father: Joe Torre's daughter made heroic catch
CNN
News
Saturday, June 22, 2013 - 3:53pm

The father of the 1-year-old boy who fell from his family's second-floor window in Brooklyn only to be caught by the daughter of a former All-Star catcher expressed gratitude Friday for her major league work.

Cristina Torre, 44, is a "hero," said Sam Miller, 23, according to defense attorney Edwin J. Wintle.

Torre, daughter of former Yankees Manager Joe Torre, caught the 1-year-old after he bounced off an awning Wednesday.

"I honestly did not feel his weight," she told CNN on Thursday. "It was effortless. He felt light as a feather."

Police say the boy crawled out of the apartment and onto the fire escape after pushing aside a piece of cardboard covering a hole next to the apartment's air conditioner.

Miller and the boy's mother, Tiffany Demetria, 24, have been charged with child endangerment and released on their own recognizance, the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office said. Their next court appearance is September 10.

A lawyer for Demetria said representatives of the Administration for Children's Services had been at the family's house twice on Tuesday. "At no point did they then indicate any of the children were in jeopardy or anything, nor were there any safety violations that they saw," said Louis Schwartz, who said he could not divulge why ACS was there.

"And they took no action in any way with respect to the family, so it's questionable as to what, in fact, was the proximate cause of what occurred."

Asked whether he was saying that the window may have been safely secured after all, he said, "I'm saying that a government agency whose purposes were to safeguard the welfare of children actually came to the premises and objectively found nothing."

A spokesman for ACS, Michael Fagan, said he could not confirm that representatives had visited the apartment, but said that it is ultimately the parents' responsibility to ensure the safety of their children.

The agency's media office did not immediately return a CNN call seeking comment.

Three other children in the apartment -- ages 2, 3 and 5 -- were placed in the custody of Child Protective Services.

The boy, whose name was not released, was discharged from Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn hours after the incident, a hospital spokeswoman said Thursday.

"The parents are incredibly grateful for Cristina's actions and that she was there at that moment, said Wintle. "They love their kids very much and want them back as soon as possible. They are devastated their four children were taken away."

Torre said she was passing by the apartment building when she looked up and saw the baby's precarious situation. She got on her phone and called 911 while she maneuvered herself under the boy.

She told CNN's Alina Cho, "I saw the baby, kind of straddling (a) pole ... and I started talking to him, as I'm talking to 911, and saying, 'Please stay up there, please.' "

"The minute he let go, I just hoped for the best and had my arms out waiting for him," she said.

Torre said the boy was crying and bleeding from the mouth after hitting something on the way down, but otherwise seemed to be all right.

The boy's father descended to the street, where he thanked and hugged Torre.

She hugged him back, she said.

Joe Torre released a statement Wednesday night saying, "I am very proud of my daughter Cristina's actions today during an incident in Brooklyn involving a small child. Fortunately for that child she was in the right place at the right time to lend a hand."

Cristina Torre, in turn, credited her father, who was a major league All-Star catcher in his playing days, with having a role in the rescue -- sort of.

"I do think I got that hand-eye coordination from my dad," she said.

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