20 SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Volunteer EMT from Queens was last to see PAPD cop before he perished
Christoper Amoroso helping a woman now identifi ed as Suman Hindashi, a
trainee at Morgan Stanley Bank, who was suff ering from asthma. Roberson
said Amoroso was suff ering from burns, possibly from trying to enter one
of the fi re fl oors in the north tower.
“That’s when I saw Chris come out of the building near the Borders bookstore
and he was struggling to help the woman having trouble breathing,” Roberson
said. “I said I would get her to a medic and I said to him to come with me. I said,
‘You are hurt,’ and I thought he should get medical assistance. But he said, ‘I’m
going back in.’ This took all of seconds of time – I gotta take her over and was
on autopilot now to get her to an ambulance. He just ran back in – the bravest
man I’ve ever met.”
Roberson said it was diffi cult for the woman to walk, so he held her hand
and brought her to an ambulance across from the tower.
“I told the crew she might be suff ering a cardiac condition and she should be
taken to a hospital now,” said Roberson, who then wanted to go fi nd Amoroso
to convince him to get treatment for burns to his face.
But then the unthinkable happened.
“I heard a loud noise and looked up and it (the north tower) looked like the
top came off a Rubik’s cube – it twisted and began to pancake down like an
elevator coming straight down, so I ran to the fence of the church off Fulton
Street,” he recalled. “I thought I was going crazy. I didn’t realize girders were
crashing through the street and everything went black. … I was on my knees
to cover up – I couldn’t see.”
Roberson opened his eyes, his mouth fi lled with dust. He waited for the
dust to settle.
“I was in survival mode and something then hit my arm – I couldn’t breathe
at fi rst, and then I thought maybe my arm was gone and I almost knocked
myself out with my arm to see if it was still there,” said Roberson, who then ran
to his offi ce lobby on Fulton Street where he was able to wash off in a bathroom.
Roberson then re-emerged found very few people in the dust-fi lled streets
lined with crushed fi re trucks.
“I started thinking about all the people I had seen – where was Chris?”
Roberson went to the Post Offi ce on Vesey Street and joined a postal inspector
he recalled by the name of Tom.
“We started knocking on doors in the building and we were fi nding people
hiding under desks,” he said. “We tried to get out on West Broadway, but then
we heard the building shaking and Tom ducked under a table, but I went to
a corner where it might be more stable. The whole building shook violently.
When we emerged, cars on fi re, both buildings gone.”
Roberson then spent the rest of the day till the following day searching
for victims and covering bodies in the street, people killed by the collapse or
body parts of those who jumped to their death.
“I really wanted to fi nd Chris, but we weren’t fi nding anyone,” Roberson said.
He left the site at 6 a.m. the next day, exhausted and feeling more confi dent
when he saw National Guard vehicles arriving with numerous rescue crews.
“The big guns were here – I had nothing left .”
He later found out that Police Offi cer Amoroso was killed.
Roberson had to deal with post-traumatic stress aft erward and was treated
at St. Vincent’s Hospital. He never returned to what was then dubbed “Ground
Since then, Roberson has worked as a volunteer at the Tribute Center on
Greenwich Street, assisting with tours and telling the stories of the thousands
who were killed on 9/11. He has also viewed names on the memorial. He was
an EMT instructor for two PAPD police offi cers, Robert Cirri Sr. and David
Prudencio Lemagne, their names engraved with Amoroso.
He has something else left to do in life, he says – he fi nds solace in Bible
scripture in which Paul is told by God to go to Judah on 9/10. He says he and
Paul both had their 9/11.
BY TODD MAISEL
Carlos Roberson was at his network engineering job at Thompson Reuters
on Fulton Street in the Financial District, down the block from the World
Trade Center, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the earth shook.
“One minute aft er it hit, my manager came out told me I have to go help,” said
Roberson, a certifi ed volunteer EMT and instructor. “We thought it might’ve
been a small plane, but then you see the gapping hole in the building and you
knew it was bigger.”
At fi rst, a police offi cer was trying to direct the Forest Hills resident away
from Church Street. Roberson told him he was an EMT, the offi cer shouted,
“Go, go, go!”
Roberson, 38 at that time, raced to Church Street where he began assisting
police directing fl eeing people away from the World Trade Center. Debris
was hitting the ground like bullets from the north tower. Window panes
were fl uttering in the air, he recalled, and one pane smashed into the plaza
as people ran from the building.
But then, people were jumping out of broken windows in desperation above
the huge fi re the plane caused when it crashed through the tower.
There were no injuries on the street initially, so Roberson said he just kept
trying to direct people away from the buildings.
“I started hearing yelling and I went to it. A whole bunch of people were rushing
out and I’m looking and it was the fi rst time in my life I didn’t know what
to do,” said Roberson, an EMT instructor who learned lifesaving skills aft er
contracting meningitis as a teen, and becoming inspired by the ambulance
crew who he said helped save his life.
But while he tried to help others, he started hearing the sound of people
jumping and hitting the ground. “It sounded like bombs hitting the plaza,”
“As they are jumping, I needed to step away – my heart was breaking and I
don’t know what to do with myself,” he added. “Then I see two fi refi ghters with
a stair chair – young guys with a large woman and the chair is not locking, so
I helped them with the chair and then to an ambulance.”
Like a lot of the rescuers that day, he tried to block out the horror. Then the
south tower was struck, most of the debris was shooting out toward West Street.
Roberson continued evacuation directions until he saw PAPD Police Offi cer
On the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001
tragedy, join me in taking the time to remember
and reflect on all those who perished,
and honor the heroes of that day
Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
New York State Senator
159-53 102nd Street
Howard Beach, NY 11414
(718) 322-5760 – FAX
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, N.Y. 11379
(718) 497-1761 – FAX