Text by Daryl Khan | Photos by Robert Stolarik
NEW YORK — The 14-year-old boy sat on the stoop of Hookah Stop in the Bronx, blood pouring from his chest and filling his lungs, and thought: This is what it’s like to die. Moments before 11 o’clock Saturday night, the boy, Javier Payne, had been smashed through the store’s plate glass window by a police officer who had stopped him after an altercation with a man on the street, witnesses said.
The boy was bleeding critically and under arrest.
When EMS paramedics arrived at the scene they found the color draining from Payne’s face, his clothes soaked in blood and his hands cuffed behind his back. A witness described the police officers on the scene as “nonchalant” about the emergency unfolding in front of them.
“He looked like a young man who was facing down his own mortality,” said one city employee familiar with the incident. “This is a kid who was staring at his own doom. He looked like he was going to die. And if he didn’t get help when he did, he would have.”
An argument ensued between the paramedics and police about removing the teenager’s handcuffs so they could treat his injuries. Initially, the police refused, but eventually relented, witnesses said.
One of the paramedics had to hold the boy’s chest wound closed while they rushed him to Jacobi Medical Center. Medical experts said it may have saved Payne’s life.
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