Ray Kelly, NYPD Commissioner and Grand Marshal at this year’s St. Patrick's Day Parade in the city, came to the rescue of a woman struck by a bicyclist hours before the parade.
Kelly was on his way to the pre-parade Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue when he witnessed a 55-year-old woman, Kinuko Hoffman, being knocked down by a man on a bike.
Kelly immediately put his police hat on, metaphorically speaking, and ran to the woman's aid. He leaped out from the back of his vehicle, dressed from head to toe in formal Grand Marshal attire, and was at the woman's side in no time. He was joined by two of his detectives, one of whom called for immediate help for the injured woman.
"We moved her head to the side so she would - there was blood there, she was bleeding from the mouth, she was unconscious - so she didn't choke on the blood," Kelly said.
Kelly used a scarf worn by the woman to stop the bleeding. He pressed it against her head like his training many years ago taught him.
"So we administered first aid as best we could and we called for an ambulance," he recalled.
When the ambulance arrived they rushed Hoffman to the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. She suffered a skull fracture.
"She's serious but not likely at this time," Kelly said, meaning she would not die.
"What else are you going to do?" he later asked. "She's lying right in the middle of Fifth Ave., bleeding from the head, unconscious and obviously seriously injured."
As for the cyclist, Kelly said he had a cut on his head that was bleeding but he was "conscious and he was telling people what happened."
When his duties, as a police officer, were completed, Kelly got back into his SUV and made the St. Patrick's Day Mass.
Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan joked with the commissioner when he arrived late to the cathedral.
"Today's grand marshal, Commissioner Ray Kelly, who was a little late getting here," introduced Dolan.
"Commissioner, I heard you were stopped for speeding."
Kelly spent the rest of the day gracefully fulfilling his role as parade Grand Marshal.