N. Charleston Police officer reunited with child whose life he saved in 2019

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 16, 2021 at 1:58 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A mother and daughter surprised a North Charleston Police officer he last saw as he saved her from choking.

Patrolman First Class Jerrid Riley had the chance to get a hug from McKenna Delarosa as her mother looked on.

The three last crossed paths on the evening of Oct. 9, 2019, as Riley was headed back to North Charleston Police headquarters after an event. He was driving down Dorchester Road when he noticed a car driving erratically and heard the driver honking her horn.

He put on his lights to initiate a traffic stop, unaware of what would happen next when he pulled the driver over on Dorchester Road near Michaux Parkway.

“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 a week after the incident.

North Charleston Patrolman First Class Jerrid Riley, (right), was surprised by a visit from...
North Charleston Patrolman First Class Jerrid Riley, (right), was surprised by a visit from McKenna Delarosa, the child he saved from choking in October 2019, and her mother.(North Charleston Police)

McKenna, then 19 months old, was choking on food. Her mother was trying to get the child to a hospital when she spotted the police officer and got his attention. But from where the traffic stop happened, Riley said they were probably five to 10 minutes away from a hospital.

“I put the baby, flipped her upside down on her stomach, braced her on my left hand, patted 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 days after that traffic stop. “I also have a two-year-old child, so I have some CPR training with infants and toddlers as well.”

Because of his quick thinking, which he credited to God putting him in the right place at the right time, the three were able to see each other for the surprise reunion.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. All rights reserved.