Qing Chen may insist that anyone would have done what he did to save a baby girl on Friday -- but it's clear a father's instinct played some role in the New Yorker's heroic act.
The dad says he was alarmed to notice an 18-month old crawling around on an awning across the street from Pure Health Pharmacy in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where he works, according to local station PIX11. The baby appeared to have escaped a second-story apartment through a vent meant for an air conditioning unit.
“I was shaking. I started screaming, and the baby was crying and screaming -- everybody was like, ‘Oh my god, what are we gonna do?'” witness Amy Vaccaro told local CBS affiliate CBS 2.
As worried passersby stood beneath the awning ready to try to catch the child, Chen sprinted into the building and knocked on the door of the apartment above the computer store.
When the child's grandmother opened the door, Chen asked about the baby, he told local ABC affiliate WABC. "She was in shock. And I was like, 'Your baby is outside and she's about to fall off of the roof.'"
Then, with witnesses watching from below, Chen ventured out onto the awning and grabbed the baby before she could fall. The girl was then taken to Maimonides Hospital as a precaution, but was found to be unhurt -- and police will not file charges against the girl's mother, according to PIX11.
Chen stressed that the scary scenario had a special resonance for him since he has a young daughter at home.
"When I grabbed [the baby on the awning] I almost came to tears because I have a baby that big and that old," he told WABC.