Darius Fleming says he did what anybody would do if they saw someone trapped inside a smoke-filled car — kicked in the window and helped that person to safety.
Fleming, a New England Patriots linebacker who cut his leg during the rescue operation last Thursday, says he then did what anyone who plays for Bill Belichick would do in such a situation — worry about how his coach would react to the injury.
“The first concern was, like, ‘Man, Bill’s going to be [angry] about my leg,’ ” Fleming said Wednesday in the Patriots locker room. “I explained the story to him and he said, ‘That was pretty cool. I’m glad you were able to help her.’ ”
He ended up needing 22 stitches to his leg but was able to play Sunday in the Patriots’ 27-20 victory over Kansas City, after starters Jamie Collins and Jerod Mayo were injured.
“I’m glad it didn’t affect my play much,” Fleming said. “The worst thing that could happen is that I would tear them (stitches) open and get re-stitched. It wasn’t like it was a life-threatening injury or anything like that.”
He added: “I’m just glad I was there ... and I was able to help. I don’t need any accolades or anything for doing what I did. Anyone would have done the same thing in my position.”
Soon after Fleming told his story to reporters, TMZ called 12 different police and fire departments in the area and was unable to confirm that the incident took place. Also, Fleming had said the incident took place near a Dunkin’ Donuts on Route 1 near Gillette Stadium -- no one at any of those restaurants within a five-mile radius of that location had heard of such an incident either, according to TMZ.
Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports tweeted a photo Wednesday afternoon from the Walpole, Mass., police log from last Thursday that appears to mention the accident described by Fleming. The Walpole police later released a statement that also seems to verify Fleming’s story.