Trending Topics

Watch: ‘Roadrunner’ officer sprints after driver having medical emergency

Officer Joe Cavalleri ran down the vehicle when the driver failed to respond


Tonawanda Police Department (N.Y.)

By Anne Hayes

TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Dash camera footage released this week shows how a Buffalo-area police officer sprinted after a runaway car to stop it once he realized the driver was in distress.

On May 14, police officers responded to Brighton Road in the town of Tonawanda for reports of a runaway vehicle, according to a news release this week from the Tonawanda Police Department.

The car, a blue Suzuki, hit multiple other vehicles, ran several red lights and was driving on the wrong side of the road, police said. The driver was not responding when police attempted to pull the car over, they said.

The dash camera footage shows patrol cars slowly following the car and attempting to stop it without crashing into it.

All of a sudden, an officer begins sprinting after the vehicle. The officer, Joe Cavalleri, realized the driver was in distress and could not stop the car, police said.

The driver was experiencing a medical emergency, police said.

Cavalleri, who has been nicknamed Roadrunner, ran after the car and opened the driver’s side door while the car was still moving, police said. The officer jumps into the car and managed to stop the vehicle safely.

Tonawanda police were not immediately available to comment on how the officer stopped the vehicle or the status of the driver.

Staff writer Anne Hayes covers breaking news, crime and public safety. Have a tip, a story idea, a question or a comment? You can reach her at

©2022 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.