12-year-old thanks firefighters who provided safe haven for him as a baby

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

A 12-year-old boy is thanking the firefighters who provided him with a safe haven when he was just a newborn.


It was after midnight back in January 2006 when the doorbell rang at Engine Company 306 in Yonkers – and a baby boy was there.

"I answer the door and it's this tiny little woman, all bundled up for the snow - I could barely see her face, she had this little package in her arms, I could barely see him," says Yonkers firefighter Richard Laperuta. "She said, 'I'm sorry, I can't take care of him,' and she handed me the baby and walked away in the snowstorm, it was really something incredible."

As firefighters found themselves fostering a healthy baby boy, a woman desperately looking to adopt received a life-altering phone call.

"She said it was a safe haven baby, I don't know if you heard about it on the news - which I hadn't -  and it went from there," says Vanessa, who adopted the baby. She named him Amir, which means prince in Arabic.

The Safe Haven Law was enacted in New York in 2000. It gives parents the option to leave an infant 30 days old or less at a police precinct, hospital or fire station.

Amir says he's inspired by the firefighters who took him in.

"To see people that saved me, took me in, got me to my mom, I'm really thankful for them," he says.

"It was a gift for me," says Vanessa.

And the firefighters are happy how the story ended.

"Just happy to see how he turned out and makes me feel really good, makes me feel good about this job, working here all these years. It really makes me feel good inside - especially around Christmas," says Laperuta.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."