Here to protect and serve – and that’s just what they did.
Critical moments of Florida police teaming up to save a choking toddler’s life were caught on body camera.
The dramatic moments of a toddler nearly choking to death in Kissimmee, Florida, all captured on body camera as five police officers worked feverishly to save the boy’s life.
Amanda Zimmerman’s 18-month-old son Michael was eating goldfish crackers when he began choking.
“So immediately I just turned him over and gave him back pats and I lifted him up and it wasn’t working.”
Desperate for help, and with time quickly running out, she sprinted outside with her son in her arms intending to drive to the emergency room just two blocks away.
“By that time, he was blue. He was starting to blue. That’s when I was in full panic,” says Zimmerman.
But before she could even reach her car, she ran straight into officer Miguel Lanzo, who had just happened to be driving by.
“At that point, when she’s approaching my vehicle, I’m not knowing what’s going on,” says Officer Lanzo, “I’m being flagged down by a female and a baby. I think he’s choking I just kicked in my training and at first, just assessed what I had – which was him choking and not breathing.”
Lanzo called for backup and got to work.
The footage shows Lanzo attempting to dislodge the cracker as Zimmerman, screaming helplessly, is restrained by the second officer to arrive on-scene, Lenora Wooten.
“I saw him on the ground with a baby and I took over, looked inside his mouth couldn’t see anything so I started with the back thrusts again,” says Officer Bayron Baez.
Officer Bayron Baez, arriving just moments later, said the situation was dire.
“He was purple.”
Baez made way for a fourth officer, Monica Gavilanes, who then stepped in to try and save the toddler’s life.
“The longer it went, the more I got worried,” says Zimmerman
Before finally, the fifth – Sergeant Craig Putriment – a seasoned veteran who has had to save a choking child before: his own daughter arrived.
“I did the abdominal thrust. He started spitting up,” says Sgt. Putriment.
At that point, Putriment says the little boy took a giant gasp, but then something went terribly wrong.
“And then nothing, he stopped breathing again.”
Determined to save the boy’s life, the five officers continued working as a team until paramedics arrived.
The toddler was transported to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.
And as the nightmare ended, a new kinship began.
“Their family is our family so, it just brings us all closer,” says Officer Wooten, “We don’t see the hero police officer type thing. It’s our community. Like everybody said, it’s what we do.”