Police say Luis Velasquez, 19, was hit by and pinned under a taxi when ran into traffic as police responded to a dispute outside a restaurant.
That, Rico Elias told CBS New York station WCBS-TV, is when police sprang into action.
"They lifted it up! There was no jack. They used their hands and backs and lifted the car up and over and got him out!" exclaimed Elias, who videotaped the incident from a window of his apartment.
At least a dozen officers helped lift the taxi, a Ford Crown Victoria that weighs more than 3,800 pounds.
"The sarge said, 'Let's get it up,' and they got it up, and they broke their butts doing it,' Elias marveled.
Velasquez was reported in critical condition in a local hospital with head trauma and other very serious injuries.
Elias, a cabbie himself, said he feels for the driver who struck Velasquez.
"He didn't expect this. He probably didn't even know he hit the guy," Elias lamented.Investigators agreed -- the taxi driver will not face charges.