The officers were on patrol about 6 a.m. near Battery Place and West Street when they spotted a livery cab coming at them. The driver flagged down the officers and told them that a 31-year-old woman was about to have a baby while the taxi was on its way to New York University Langone Medical Center.
"We were driving on West Street by the Battery Tunnel," Officer Justin Naimoli of Deer Park said today in an interview. "The cab frantically started beeping its horn and blinking its headlights."
Naimoli, 26, and his partner, Theodore Plevritis, 28, immediately stopped their police cruiser, he said.
"We didn't know if it was a robbery," Naimoli said in a telephone interview.
Plevritis, of Staten Island, learned from the cabdriver that a woman was in the backseat and in labor, said Naimoli, who got on his police radio and called for an ambulance.
It wasn't long before the baby arrived, he said.
"It was a matter of five minutes," Naimoli said. "This baby was ready to go."
Naimoli said he stayed behind his partner, who actually delivered the baby, and shined his flashlight. He recorded the time of birth as 6:46 a.m.
Emergency medical technicians arrived and cut the umbilical cord. The baby was crying and seemed healthy, he said.
"It's a first," said Naimoli, a three-year NYPD veteran. "It felt great. A good ending to the night."