Los Angeles: On March 1, 2003, at approximately 6:15 p.m., two Los Angeles Police Department officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Unit (SEU) at 77th Street Area, were credited with saving the life of a one year-old infant.
The LAPD officers, six-year veteran Andrew Paredes and eight-year veteran Carlos Gonzalez, were on patrol when they observed a female in the street attempting to render aid to a small child on the corner of Redondo Beach Boulevard and Berendo Avenue. Stopping to investigate, the officers approached the distraught woman. She had just placed the baby down on the pavement. The one year-old baby was unconscious and not breathing. Kneeling down to help the child, Officer Gonzalez observed that the infant’s limbs were limp and that the baby was unresponsive. Officer Gonzalez picked up the child and attempted to clear the baby’s airway passage by performing a "finger sweep."
The child’s tongue was lodged to the rear of his throat and Officer Gonzalez pulled the baby’s tongue forward. Immediately, the infant took a small and labored breath. Positioning the child on his side, Officer Gonzalez continued clearing the airway. Shortly thereafter two unidentified City of Gardena police officers arrived on the scene and they immediately took the child to a local hospital.
As the officers were helping the baby, the distraught mother began to panic and subsequently fainted. She fell to the ground and hit her head on the pavement. The two officers were able to calm down the mother and then transport her to the hospital. According to the medical evaluation, the child suffered a seizure which caused respiratory failure. Doctors concluded that the officers’ quick response saved the child’s life. The baby was hospitalized for further testing and the child’s mother was treated and released.
This press release was prepared by Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.