North Charleston police officer saves life of 19-month-old girl

Child was choking on food

VIDEO: North Charleston police officer saves life of 19-month-old girl

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A North Charleston police officer is being hailed a hero tonight for saving the life of a toddler.

Police say the 19-month old girl was choking on food when the officer came to her rescue.

Last Wednesday night, PFC Jerrid Riley was heading back to North Charleston police headquarters after an event.

He was driving down Dorchester Road and noticed a car driving erratically with the driver honking the horn. Riley’s dash camera recorded what happened next.

"I slowed down to initiate that traffic stop," he recalled.

Riley put on his lights and siren and pulled the driver over on Dorchester Road near Michaux Parkway.

He had no idea was coming.

“Before I put my car in park, the mom and the passenger jumped out of the car, was running back to my vehicle screaming ‘My child can’t breathe, she can’t breathe.’ And then I just relied on my training at that point,” Riley said.

It turned out the toddler was choking on some food.

“I put the baby, flipped her upside down on her stomach, braced her on my left hand, pattted her on the back. Then I swiped her mouth once, make sure that the objects were out and then she started crying at that point,” Riley said. “I also have a two year old child, so I have some CPR training with infants and toddlers as well.”

Riley says the little girl's mom was trying to get her to the hospital when she saw him.

"At that point with lights and everything, I would say they were probably five to ten minutes away. It could have ended badly, it could have been devastating," Riley said.

Fortunately it was a happy ending for the child and her family.

EMS took her to to the hospital for a checkup, then released her.

“I guess God put me in the right place at the right time. I was grateful I was able to save that child. It’s a good thing to do. I didn’t get into this community just to arrest people, I got into this to help people,” Riley said.

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