MTA Bridges and Tunnels officials today recognized Officer Joseph Moncada and Sergeant Roberto Rivera for their quick action and compassion in helping to reunite a missing 91-year-old man with his family on Monday. The Newburgh City Police Department issued a Silver Alert for Narciso Caquias just before 07:30 a.m., when his family said he did not return home after driving to visit a family member in Manhattan.
At 10:06 a.m. Officer Moncada, who was on duty at the time and assigned to the Throgs Neck Bridge, which has seen an average of 87,000 vehicles per day in January 2021, was alerted that a vehicle registration in the area matched the car the man was driving and was able to locate the car and pull Caquias over.
Around the same time, Sergeant Rivera was starting his shift for the day when he heard a call come over the radio regarding the missing man. He quickly rushed to the area where Officer Moncada had pulled over Caquias.
After asking a few questions, the Bridges and Tunnels officers brought the man to the Throgs Neck Bridge facility, a secure location, where he was able to stay until being reunited with his granddaughter who came to pick him up.
“Officer Joseph Moncada and Sergeant Roberto Rivera are true heroes,” said Daniel F. DeCrescenzo, Jr., President of MTA Bridges & Tunnels. “These are the kinds of moments that once again remind us how fortunate we are to have people like them on our team – who are compassionate and understanding. We are all so happy to know Narciso is back home and safe.”
“My family and I were going crazy looking for my grandfather, and you guys got the ball rolling so fast and I appreciate that so much because he is not only my grandpa, he is my dad. He has raised me since I was a baby,” said Johanna Munoz, the granddaughter of Narciso Caquias. “It meant so much to me how sweet each and every one of you were to me and my grandfather. You do not really see that a lot here in New York so to meet wonderful police officers like you was amazing, because there are really good officers out there. I just wish everybody could experience what I experienced.”
“I approached the vehicle and asked for license and registration and he asked, “Officer, did I do anything wrong?” and I said no not at all, I just think your family is looking for you,” said Officer Joseph Moncada. “My father is 88-years-old and so talking to him, it was beautiful. I am so happy we got him home with his family, because that could be my father.”
“When I got into work I made myself familiar with the case and at that point I made my way to the Clearview Expressway southbound where we had Mr. Caquias on the shoulder of the road,” said Sergeant Roberto Rivera. “I was in touch with the command center and brought Mr. Caquias back to our administration center in the Bronx where he was comfortable and safe and able to wait for his granddaughter.”
“We are thankful to Officer Joseph Moncada and Sergeant Roberto Rivera and we want to recognize the way they handled this situation and the care they displayed,” said Richard L. Hildebrand II, Vice President and Chief of Operations. “They are an example to all of us – and this is the kind of happy ending we all want to see.”
Officer Moncada received a Meritorious Service award and Sergeant Rivera received an Excellent Police Duty award for their actions.
Officer Joseph Moncada, left on the first image, and Sergeant Roberto Rivera, left on the second image, receive citation from Director of Field Operations North Raymond Higgins, right on both images, at the Throgs Neck Bridge facility.
Photographs courtesy of Marc A. Hermann | MTA New York City Transit.