Nico DiToro, 4, went to the Suffolk County Legislature Tuesday to be honored with a proclamation for knowing enough to call for help when his mother became unconscious after a fall in April.
But the boy’s eyes widened considerably when Legis. Thomas Muratore (R-Ronkonkoma) surprised him with a shiny new toy black-and-white police car for his heroic act.
“In all my career, I never saw anything like what Nico did,” said Muratore, himself a former police officer who said the boy’s heroic act deserved a tangible reward that a child could really enjoy.
The old-fashioned pedal-powered car cost $250 retail, but Muratore said a local Ronkokoma hardware store, Agnew & Taylor, let the lawmakers have it for cost when they learned of the boy’s heroic action.
Nico became a hero when he found his mother, Desiree, on the floor unconscious in their Centereach home. The boy tried to call 911, but by mistake dialed 991. When that didn’t work, he hit redial, which reached his father, a troubleshooter for Consolidated Edison in the Bronx.
His father, Marc, called the police, who got Nico’s mom the help she needed.
Nico was appreciative of the gift.
“I have a wooden police car, but it’s not like this,” he said, beaming.
Here's Nico at his Centereach home in May, retelling the story as he remembers it.
Desiree DiToro, of Centereach, left, with son Nico, 4, who called for help when she fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious. (May 2, 2011)