West Greenwich Officer Comforts Boy at Disturbing Road Rage Scene
A bystander captured this stunning photo from the scene of a terrifying road rage incident involving a hatchet in Rhode Island this weekend.
Shay Mulcahy was driving on New London Turnpike in East Greenwich on Sunday when she saw the scene: a car with a smashed window, two very scared children and a man handcuffed on the ground with blood all over his face.
Police told ABC6 that after a minor accident on I-95 near Exit 7, the men in the second vehicle, brothers 29-year-old Cody and 31-year-old Matthew Toneatti, followed the first vehicle to a nearby McDonald's, where they got out of the car and Cody used a hatchet to break the window of the other driver's vehicle, where the two young children were sitting. Police said a fight then ensued and the Toneatti brothers were arrested at the scene.
Amidst all of the terror and chaos, there was one bright spot of kindness right in the middle of it all, and as Mulcahy sat in traffic, she was able to capture it for all to see. An officer, later identified as Officer Michael Dugan with the West Greenwich Police Department, helped both children out of their vehicle and immediately held the young boy. Mulcahy said she was in traffic right next to the scene for about five minutes, and Officer Dugan was there holding the boy the entire time.
"It was such a great thing to see the officer be so kind and compassionate!!" Mulcahy said. "Those kids went through a traumatic event [minutes] before."
Fred Pappagallo also saw the aftermath of the incident from the McDonald's parking lot, and he said Officer Dugan stayed with the boy for close to a half an hour.
"I'm glad somebody got a pic of this..." Pappagallo wrote on Facebook. "That officer just kept rubbing his shoulder and rubbing his back consoling him making him feel better because he was quite worked up and upset at what happened. That officer did a great job above and beyond and should absolutely be recognized for his efforts."
Officer Dugan certainly went above and beyond his line of duty to comfort the children, and Mulcahy's photo capturing the interaction has now gone viral across Facebook, garnering hundreds of shares.
Police told ABC6 that Cody Toneatti admitted to wielding the hatchet and was charged with disorderly conduct and malicious damage. His brother, Matthew, was charged with disorderly conduct, and both men are set to appear in court on July 12.