A new police officer in Indiana saved the life of a choking toddler at Chick-fil-A for—the first response of his career as a policeman.
Melanie Hasse was dining with daughter Charlotte on Jan. 12 when the toddler got a piece of an apple stuck in her throat.
“I looked over and she started gagging. I could see something kind of in the back of her throat, mistakenly reached in to try to grab it out, I think that pushed it back into her throat,” Hasse told ABC 7.
Officer Richard Mayer from the Hobart Police Department was at the same Merrillville Chick-fil-A with two other colleagues. Hasse approached them with her choking daughter.
“She came running over with her daughter Charlotte and she was frantic and everything like that. We noticed that her daughter was choking. She was purple in the face. Our first reaction, all three of us stood right up,” said Mayer, describing the moment to ABC.
“We did the back slaps on her, and got the food dislodged from her throat right away,” added Mayer.
Hasse told ABC she was greatly relieved to see the 15-month-old breathing again. ABC found out that this was Mayer’s first response as a paid police officer.
“That caught us all off guard. All three of us officers sitting there have a daughter and all of us looked back after it and said ‘What if that was our daughter?’” said Mayer.
Hasse described the events via her Facebook page, emphasizing Mayer’s role.
“Nothing scarier than your child choking. Charlotte was choking on a piece of apple today at Chick-fil-a. Thank GOD there were three Hobart police officers just a few feet away. I rushed her over to them, yelled, “I think she’s choking!” One of them, Richard Mayer, immediately grabbed her, flipped her over, and gave her the Heimlich, dislodging the food. It was so fast, he didn’t even pause- he just knew exactly what to do. I am forever indebted to you, Officer Mayer. Thank you for saving my baby girl. God was protecting us for sure. To Adam Zormier and the other officer who was there, thank you as well. I know if it wasn’t Officer Mayer who had been right in front of me, either of you would have done the same thing. Everyday heroes, people.”