WATCH: Courageous off duty police officer saves man from burning vehicle

At, we want to bring you the stories of love and courage where the good guys win. Well, here’s a true story of courage where the good guy didn’t just win – he risked everything to save the life of someone in trouble.

John Vescio, a State Police senior investigator stationed in the Bronx, was filling up his unmarked cruiser at a White Plains, New York gas station when a 69-year-old man suffered a diabetic emergency and crashed his car into Vescio’s gas pump. The crash sparked a huge fire. Vescio, dressed in a Yankees jersey and sneakers, ran from the scene – only to courageously return and pull the unconscious driver to safety.

Seconds later, the entire area was engulfed with flames.


“It happened so quick,” Vescio said. “It was hard to think. I pretty much just reacted.”

According to the New York Daily News, Vescio doesn’t claim to be a hero. Instead, he believes he was just doing the right thing. His superiors disagree.

“John was a civilian at the time. You see him in his Yankee jersey and shorts,” said State Police Capt. Dominick Chiumento. “And he becomes a victim, and then he becomes a hero.”

Four people sustained minor injuries in the accident, and the driver is now in stable condition at Westchester Medical Center. Vescio has met with the family of the driver, who has thanked him for what he did.

(H/T NY Daily News)

  • Bubba Gump

    So , after he pulls the man out he has time to open his car, then go around and get something out of the trunk, but he could have just pulled the car forward> I guess that’s one way to get a new vehicle.

    • Penelope

      The fuel in his vehicle had probably ignited by that point

    • Anonymous

      Looks to me like he went to get his gun and ammunition out of the back of his car.
      The car can be replaced. Once that Ammo starts going off, many lives could have been in danger. Seems to me like he was a hero several times over.

      Sure, he could have tried to save the car, but that probably wasn’t his concern right then.

      • Luke

        Loose cartridges involved in an open fire are generally harmless. It sort of just pops and falls apart. Sounds terrifying though. Just FYI.

        • Ben McEntire

          Generally then there are times when it is not so general..

          • Luke

            If he had a handgun in that bag with a round in the chamber, then yes, you’d have an issue.

      • Anonymous

        I’d have gone back for the guns and ammo. Good point.

      • Allen Thompson

        The car was not yet on fire. He could have pulled the car out of the way and saved the ammo at the same time. Good on him for helping the other guy though. That was the priority.

    • rosalinddunlap

      when in a life or death fast pace condition,this guy did dam good,he did no twaste a minute,you do not take time to lay out a plan when a gas pump is on fire.that car he got something from was getting hoter by the secondd,by the flames,if he would of got in it it could of blew up,and he would of went with it.

    • David

      Starting the car will cause the spark plugs to ignite and therefore could cause an explosion…. Guess ol Bubba would be the one who gets blown up out of ignorance…..

      • Anonymous

        LMAO!!!! Couldn’t have been said any better.

      • Anonymous

        Not true, the spark and ingition is contained within the engine. If you didn’t notice, there was already a fire, lol. A spark deep inside the completely sealed combustion chamber of an engine would do nothing that the fire outside on the fuel pump itself isn’t already doing….

      • Anonymous

        You watch too much TV

      • Anonymous

        With all that flame already exhausting any gasses? Hardly. The attendant had already pushed the kill switch I promise you.

    • Anonymous

      The whole gas pump was leaning on his car. Probably not the best idea to move it.

    • JimandLisa Stauffer

      The gas pump fell on his car. Moving the car may have been a very bad decision. Jim

  • Vickie

    Yes by all means Mr. Gump, find something wrong with what he did. I dare say you would not have been half as courageous as this man and would have driven your car to safety and let the poor man burn. Shame on you.

    • Bubba Gump

      I love it when people put words in my mouth. Never said the man was not courageous or a hero for what he did. Never said I would have put the value of my car over the man inside the wrecked vehicle. Just making a simple observation.

  • Anonymous

    Wondering why he just didn’t move his car.

    • Anonymous

      For sure. If you had time to get your junk out of the front seat, and out of the trunk, you should’ve had time to just get in and drive out of danger. No diss to what the guy did. Good job saving the dude.

  • Allan Luft

    Are we playing good cop, bad cop? The timing of this seems kind of funny.
    Glenn gets affiliated to the recent cop shootings at CiCi’s pizza and now he posts a good cop video. If you’re going to espouse an anti government sentiment from time to time, of course there may be someone patriotic enough to take it to heart. Don’t try to back off and now let everyone think you’re pro-cop.

  • Anonymous

    Why did no one grab an extinguisher when the fire was still small?

    • Hoschi0913

      because 99% of the people do NOT have one in their cars !!!!!!

      • Anonymous

        But 100% of all gas stations have fire extinguishers!!!!!!!

        • Hoschi0913

          and how many of those know how to use one ?

          • Anonymous

            I’m guessing you’re one of those that would need the lecture and question-and-answer period after?

  • Anonymous

    Has anyone noticed that the pump stand has been pushed against his car & is now leaning against it. Now we only have the single angle to view but its clear from this angle that the stand is at least leaning against his car & with a view from the opposite side, it may be more clear as to why he didn’t “just drive away”.

  • Trezore

    First off… great that he ran to get the driver out of the other car…
    Second… the gas pump fell onto his car… probably not a good idea to move the car because of that… regardless of the fact the nozzle was not in his car yet…
    Third… where the HECK was the fire extinguisher??? I see no clear posted sign or location where it could be… where the off duty cop could have grabbed it to use… or anyone else just standing there watching up close!
    Four… The car that came slamming in… pushed the car on the other side into the minivan and subsequently possibly into the other car in front of minivan… and those people were getting helped out of their cars too…
    Wonder what happened for the driver to have slammed in like that.

  • John

    Truly heroic.

  • Roscoe P.

    He could have had medical equipment in the trunk

  • John Hunter

    Well done, Officer Vescio

  • Robert L. Rice

    Definitely a HERO,takes BIG gonads to pull a person out of a fire……

  • Liz

    As a wife of a police officer, I am proud of this man’s selflessness. This is what they have sworn to do as officers — even when they’re off duty. Praise God for his intervention.

  • Hima Layan

    While democratic processes are capable of supporting liberty, centralized bureaucracy and administrative socialism must inevitably restrict it.

  • Duq Tape

    Here we find a trusty lamp to guide us through the ever-shifting mirage of illusions conjured up by today’s liberals:

  • lil’ will

    Gosh! That MUST be better than learning grammer! … except I’m a dude. I don’t have the same equipment as you. Post your street corner, so nobody infringes on your “spot”

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