Rochester security footage shows man with infant sprinting with stroller before truck strikes
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – New surveillance video from a Rochester business shows the beginning of a tragic situation from Tuesday.
Gerald Benitez-Alvarez, 25, is charged with first degree assault, after running off with his infant. Police say the two were hit by a box truck on Joseph Avenue, and now the baby is fighting for her life at the hospital.
After the impact, police say Benitez-Alvarez picked the baby up and kept running, only to drop her again and continue on solo. He was taken into custody on St. Paul near Genesee Brew House.
New security footage from Adflex Corporation on Ormond Street shows what led up to 911 calls, outside House of Mercy that day. Police say it happened just before noon.
The print company showed multiple angles to News10NBC’s Eriketa Cost.
The first clip in the sequence shows a man and a younger child walking down Harrison Street with a stroller. This lines up with what witnesses previously reported.
The three of them make their way to the outside of House of Mercy, on Ormond Street. They’re there for several minutes, before a black van pulls up. It’s not clear who is in the van.
The man with the stroller starts running towards Central Avenue, with someone following him. You can faintly see the stroller in the video.
Police said he ended up under the underpass by Joseph Avenue and Ward Street when the two were struck by a box-car truck. That’s when he picked up the baby to keep running, before dropping it, and then running off again.
Assistant District Attorney Sara Van Strydonck spoke about the severity of the case.
“What you see today is one case, and I can promise you, all the doctors and investigators working this case are tired because they worked on five other cases involving kids and significant injuries to them, that we don’t hear on the news,” she said. “So I’m tired, they’re tired, and we have to do better as a community to help our kids safe.”
News10NBC’s Marsha Augustin spoke to a worker at House of Mercy who says she ran outside to help save the baby.
“We came out, and we looked at the bridge, we saw an empty stroller,” said Lisa Knight, Director of Mission Engagement at the shelter. “As we were looking up, we saw a gentleman, a young woman and a baby, running down the railroad tracks. We yelled at them to stop, we said, ‘can you please stop,’ and he kept running so we went after him.”
Prosecutors said Child Protective Services had been looking for the baby.
Police would not comment on the younger child who appeared with the man and the stroller.
Benitez-Alvarez is currently being held in custody.