New Jersey police officer comes to rescue of boy choking on a quarter

GARFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A quick-thinking New Jersey police officer is being hailed a hero after he came to the rescue of a little boy who was choking on a quarter.

And on Tuesday, there were big hugs between the boy, 5-year-old David Samiel, and the officer who saved his life.

On Saturday, Officer Francisco Sanchez and Sergeant Ronald Bohannon responded to a Banta Avenue home on a report of a juvenile choking.

David had found a quarter in his room and put it in his mouth, then quickly spun into a panic when he realized he couldn't get it out.

His grandparents were babysitting and immediately called 911.

Within seconds, Officer Sanchez with the Garfield police department pulled up and grabbed the distressed child.

Sanchez evaluated the boy and determined that he was in respiratory distress and unable to speak.

He then performed abdominal thrusts and back blows on the child which dislodged the quarter, police say.

"I was going to do the Heimlich Maneuver but he started going limp so I leaned him over my knee and tapped about four times," said Officer Sanchez.

Once the quarter was dislodged, David was able to breathe again.

After the boy was evaluated by EMS, he was found to be OK.

The grandparents were about to drive little David to the hospital but that would've taken at least 10 minutes and they clearly didn't have 10 minutes to spare.

Officer Sanchez awarded young David with a junior badge and coloring book while the grateful family gave the officer a card, a basket of David's favorite candies and their eternal gratitude.

"It's a blessing, I'm really grateful for him saving my son," said David's father Barry Samiel.
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