For one little girl, Arlington County police Cpl. Steve Troyano is a hero.
"I wouldn't use that word," Troyano said. "I think I just did my job."
Troyano made a routine traffic stop this week that turned out to be anything but.
He stopped a vehicle at about 6:35 p.m. Wednesday in the 5300 block of Columbia Pike. Soon after, another vehicle pulled in front of them, stopped and a woman jumped out. Running over to him, she said, "Help, help, my sister's in labor!"
Troyano went to assist. It was obvious the woman was about to give birth; the baby's head was crowning, he said. He called for medics, but the baby was not going to wait.
He got towels and gloves and tried to make the mother as comfortable as possible in the back seat of the SUV she was in. Within minutes, the infant was in his hands.
"It happened really fast," said Troyano, who has served with the Arlington County Police Department for more than 11 years.
"There wasn't really a lot of time to think about it. It was time to act," he said.
"We had one scare — the baby came out with the umbilical cord around her neck. Once I unwrapped it, she coughed and started to breathe." He chuckled. "And I started to breathe. She cried a little bit. I wrapped her up in a towel, just sort of held her. I showed her to mom and dad, who were proud. Happy. And I just tried to keep everybody calm until the medics got there."
The 6 pound, 3 ounce baby was born at 6:41 p.m.
Afterward, the officer said he felt "relief."
"Just relief that it all went wall," he said. "The overwhelming emotion was relief. It was pretty amazing. It was pretty surreal. It was a kind of an amazing thing to happen right there."
Troyano, who is married, doesn't have any children and said it was his first time delivering a baby. The department has not released the family's name out of respect for their privacy, but has said the parents are giving the baby the middle name of "Stephanie" in honor of Troyano.
Troyano is a New Jersey native. About 20 years ago, before college, he served as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician. In Virginia, police training involves about a week of emergency and first responding training — but nothing as detailed or delicate as delivering a child.
In the end, the family has a good story to tell their new daughter and Troyano has a good story to tell at his retirement party.
Within the department, Troyano and his colleagues have been trying to determine if an Arlington officer has ever delivered a child while on duty. As best they can tell, this was the first time.
"This is just another reflection of how great our personnel and members of our department act even when they're presented with a situation that they're not given on a daily basis," police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
"We're extremely proud of Corporal Troyano and it's just a great reflection of our department and members."
Troyano asked a fellow officer to talk with the woman who had been originally pulled in the traffic stop.
She was sent away with a warning ticket.