A Nevada police officer is being hailed as a hero after saving a three-year-old boy last week who was choking on a piece of candy — and it was all recorded on the officer’s body camera.
It happened last week at a store in Mesquite, Nevada.
Damian Valencia couldn’t breathe. He was semiconscious, choking on a Jawbreaker candy that he received at a birthday party.
The boy’s parents rushed into the Green Valley Grocery store with their son.
Ray Sanchez, a cashier, called 911.
Off-duty Officer Quinn Averett and less than a block away when the call came in.
He rushed into the store, turned the boy upside down over his knee and began a kind of reverse-Heimlich maneuver. The officer’s body camera captured the moment the Jawbreaker popped free.
Days later, an emotional reunion occurred at the police station when the boy’s family stopping by to thank the man who saved Damian’s life.
“When I saw him, I just started crying,” the boy’s mother, Mariana Cardiel, said.
Averett says he got emotional, too.
“I cried a little bit because it really touched me, because I have children of my own,” he said.
Another reunion is set for January, when Mesquite’s police department and city council will honor the officer with an award. The boy’s family plans to attend the ceremony.
“It was a good ending, you know, a happy ending,” Cardiel said. “My son’s still with me.”