Bravery Above And Beyond The Job

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It was just a regular day for Westbury School District Security Guard Tony Hollie. He was driving near the high school on his 15-minute break when he noticed a young woman struggling in the back of a car. Then Hollie saw the driver of the car run two stop signs. When the driver stopped for traffic at a third one, the girl jumped out of the car and hit the ground in front of Hollie’s truck.

“I jumped out to assist her, and then the guy jumped out to recapture her. We had a conversation and then he didn’t want any part of that, so he got in his vehicle and she got back in the car with him,” Hollie says. “I called my superiors and we called the police.”

Officer Jonathan Cutrone and Security guard Tony Hollie
Officer Jonathan Cutrone and Security guard Tony Hollie

Hollie followed the car and relayed a detailed description of the man and his vehicle to police officers, who were able to track down the car with the help of a helicopter.

“It’s possible the two knew each other,” says Hollie. “It looked like something was planned and went bad, and she didn’t want part of it anymore.”

The investigation into the incident is still ongoing, and the school district would not confirm nor deny whether the involved parties were students. One thing remains clear: Hollie’s quick thinking helped prevent what could have been an even worse situation. At the Oct. 16 Board of Education meeting, school administrators recognized Hollie for his heroic actions.

“He went beyond these walls to protect our children, and I think that’s a hero,” said Superintendent Dr. Mary Lagnado. “We are proud of our Westbury family and always have complete confidence in them and this further confirms it. On behalf of that family and child, we thank you for what you did.”

Officer Jonathan Cutrone from the Nassau County Police Department commended Hollie for his bravery.

“He didn’t know who he was dealing with, he wasn’t armed, but he was a very good witness. He did an exceptional job,” said Cutrone.
Hollie says he didn’t think twice about helping the woman.

“[I saw that] somebody needs help. You don’t think at that point, you react. Your instincts take over and your mind snaps back into what you’re trained to do,” Hollie says. “There are ladies in my family and you don’t want anybody hurt or in that situation. If my family was in that situation, I would want somebody to help.”

Hollie has been a security guard in the district for 16 years. Westbury High School Principal Manuel Arias says Hollie and the other security guards are top notch.

“It’s comforting to know you have people so aware of their surroundings, and that stop when a potential problem may occur. He’s a professional and we’re very proud of him,” Arias said.

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