Officer reunites with girl he saved two years ago in SC


A police officer reunited with a girl he saved from choking two years ago in South Carolina. (Photo credit: North Charleston Police Department)

A police officer was reunited with a girl he saved from choking two years ago in South Carolina.

Officer Jerrid Riley was greeted in North Charleston City Hall with a hug from McKenna Delarosa and her mom, according to photos shared Dec. 16 on Facebook by the North Charleston Police Department.

Police said Riley was driving on Dorchester Road in North Charleston on Oct. 9, 2019 when he saw “a car driving erratically” with the driver honking her horn,” WCSC reported.

He was about to conduct a traffic stop when he noticed a woman in the passenger’s seat looking “frantic with a toddler in her arms,” WCBD reported.

Police photo.PNG
North Charleston Police Department

“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,’ Riley told WCSC. “And then I just relied on my training at that point.”

McKenna, 19 months old at the time, was choking on food, according to WCSC.

Riley then performed CPR “by turning the toddler over” and applying “several thrusts to the infant’s back with the heel of his hand to remove or dislodge the object,” WCBD reported.

Police said Riley successfully cleared McKenna’s airway and she “became more alert (and) responsive,” WCBD.

Two years later, McKenna and her mom surprised Riley for “a heartwarming reunion,” police said on Facebook.

North Charleston is about 111 miles southeast of Columbia.

Karina Mazhukhina is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter. She graduated from the University of Washington and was previously a digital journalist for KOMO News, an ABC-TV affiliate in Seattle.

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