According to the FDNY, Lt. Brendan Connolly, and Firefighters Ronald Donati, Leo Lopez, Daniel Morales, Nicholas Nugent and Steven Tomicic were driving through Astoria on their way back to the firehouse when they saw a boy waving to the truck.
"We like to wave to little kids," Lopez said. "But as soon as we waved to him, he stopped. Then we saw a lady calling for help."
He immediately shouted to stop the truck and hopped off. The woman was pointing to a man, her husband, who was dragging a young girl down the street.
Lopez called to the man to stop, but he kept moving.
"He was on a mission," said Lopez. "We weren't sure what he wanted to do."
The firefighters ran towards the man, who was large and appeared inebriated, and made a barrier between him and the woman and children.
As Donati, Morales, Nugent and Tomicic kept the man cornered, Connolly and Lopez talked to the family, trying to distract the kids by talking about things like school and their sneakers.
The boy told them he someday wants to be a firefighter, and the girl said she wants to be a police officer.
"The mother was scared for her life," Lt. Connolly said. "But these guys are built like linebackers, and they kept him at bay until police arrived."
The man was taken into custody by police officers from the 114 Precinct.