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.
“Oh my God! Oh my God”
These 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, or MJ, was eating gold fish 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, ” explained mom Amanda Zimmerman.
Desperate for help, and with time quickly running out, she sprinted outside with Michael in her arms, intending to drive to the emergency room just two blocks away.
She describes the scene, “By that time, he was blue. He was starting to blue. That’s when I was in full panic.”
But before she could even reach her car, she ran straight into Officer Miguel Lanzo, who had just happened to be driving by.
Officer Miguel Lanzo says, “At that point, when she’s approaching my vehicle, at that point, I’m not knowing what’s going on”
Lanzo called for backup and got to work.
“I’m being flagged down by a female and a baby. I think he’s choking,” continued the officer. “I just kicked in my training and at first just assessed what I had – which was him choking and not breathing.”
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.
Officer Bayron Baez joined in the effort, “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.”
Officer Baez 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 child’s life
Amanda Zimmerman was worried. “The longer it went, the more I got worried.”
Before finally, the fifth, Sergeant Craig Putriment, a seasoned veteran who has had to save a choking child before: his own daughter
He explained his first move. “I did the abdominal thrust. He started spitting up.”
At that point, Putriment says MJ took a giant gasp.
But then something went terribly wrong.
Sgt. Craig Putriment continues to describe what happened next. “And then nothing, he stopped breathing again.”
Determined to save MJ’s life, the five officers continued working as a team until paramedics arrived.
MJ was transported to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.
And, as the nightmare ended, a new kinship began.
Officer Lenora Wooten explains, “Their family is our family so, just brings us all closer. We don’t see hero police officer type thing. It’s our community. Like everybody said, it’s what we do.”