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By David Caplan
Police in the upstate New York city of Hudson smashed a car window Friday morning, believing they were valiant heroes rescuing a senior citizen whom a passerby said had “frozen to death.”
The Hudson Police Department said in a press release that it “received a call from a very upset citizen who stated that she discovered an elderly woman ‘frozen to death’ in her Subaru parked along City Hall Place, Hudson. Officers, and the Greenport Rescue Squad were immediately dispatched.”
The press release continues, “Officers arrived minutes later and observed an elderly woman seated in the passenger seat wearing an oxygen mask. She was not moving and was unresponsive. It was bitterly cold, (around 8 degrees) and the car had snow cover, indicating it may have been parked there overnight.”
But officers quickly determined that the oxygen mask-wearing woman was not dead, nor was she frozen. In fact, she wasn’t even a woman.
“An HPD Sergeant broke the rear passenger window and opened the door to discover it was an extremely realistic life-sized mannequin,” according to the press release.
The mannequin wore clothing and glasses, and had teeth, skin and blemishes on its face.
The vehicle’s owner eventually returned to his car and solved the mystery: He is a sales manager for a company that manufacturers medical training aids, and the “woman” is a CPR training device, police said.
“The owner of the mannequin stated that he transports the device in his car in that manner, to include the wearing of a seat belt,” police said in the press release.
But that explantion didn’t sit well with police.
“I can’t put what he said on air, but he was not very happy with the police department for forcing entry into his car,” Hudson Police Department Sgt. Randy Clarke told ABC affiliate WTEN. “If it was a joke, it was a very poor tasteful joke. If it was a matter of convenience for him — it was a station wagon — carry your mannequin a little bit better. The mannequin was in the front seat with a seat belt and appearing to be a passenger in the car.”
There are no charges pending in the incident, police said