While responding to a radio call to an incident on Johnson Avenue, Officers Roland Benson and his partner Kevin Preiss instead were called into a Dunkin’ Donuts where a man was having a heart attack.
The N.Y.P.D. officers said they were waived down by cab drivers on the corner of 242nd Street and Broadway when they pulled over to see a man having a heart attack in the middle of Dunkin Donuts. Officers Benson and Preiss, who have been partners for 12 years and specialize in those types situations, proceeded to give the victim chest compressions until an ambulance arrived.
“He was laying across the doorway, you couldn’t even get in,” Officer Benson said. “My partner jumped over him and we both got down on our knees and I felt for a pulse, there was no pulse, and his eyes looked like we was dead already.”
The officers began administering CPR until the victim started breathing and waited for an ambulance to arrive.
“It was probably shorter than it seemed, but maybe half a minute or so and he started breathing,” Officer Benson said. “He was gasping out of his mouth and some spit started coming out of his mouth so I was like ’s— this is good.’”
The victim was later identified as Sase N. Singh, a security guard at Manhattan College. Manhattan College’s public safety office declined to comment on Mr. Singh’s condition or the incident, but an unnamed source did confirm that Mr. Singh would not be returning to his post for some time.
Officer Benson said that he recognized Mr. Singh right away and was still concerned with his condition. He and Officer Preiss work nights and often answer service calls for the 59th Precinct.
“We got him to the hospital OK and we later found out he was a Manhattan College security guard so the next night we went to the security booth and asked how he was doing,” Officer Preiss said. “I’ve always enjoyed the part [of the job] where you actually help someone in need. We do a lot of what you call lift jobs where we help old people that fall out of bed—that’s the kind of thing that I enjoy.”
Officers Benson and Preiss have been on the force for 12 and 20 years respectively and haven been together since Officer Benson graduated from the police academy. The two were even the first on scene for the Metro-North derailment in 2013.
“We were there on Dec. 1, we were about to get off and I was going to get a Christmas tree for my girlfriend,” Officer Benson said. “There’s been a lot of jobs that we laugh about, but that one we don’t laugh about.”
The two officers said they have deep roots in Riverdale and Officer Benson even has a sandwich named after him at Best Deli on 242nd Street and Broadway, down the street from the Dunkin Donuts where they helped save Mr. Singh.
“There’s been a lot of occurrences over the last 12 years that I’d say we remember,” Officer Benson said. “We drive places and I say ‘you remember that jacka— there,’ or ‘remember that job over there?’”