SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Officials in Sweetwater recognized two of their police officers for their swift life-saving actions in rendering aid to a 1-year-old boy who found himself unable to breathe.
Body camera video captured the terrifying moments after Sweetwater Police Officer Sgt. Domingo Benito Jr., and Officer Samuel Dorcely responded to the call, Aug. 24.
The child’s family had called police when the boy started choking on a fruit seed.
“He has a big old mamoncillo seed stuck in his throat,” his mother said.
His mother told Benito and Dorcely that she was unable to dislodge the seed.
“I can’t get it out,” said his mother.
“He’s choking?” said one of the police officers.
“He’s choking. I can’t get it out,” said the mother.
On Monday, Benito described the heartstopping moments.
“It’s like having your own child. It’s a crazy, intense moment, but yeah, you see your own child,” he said.
Benito began pounding on the boy’s back as Dorcely worked to remove the seed from his mouth.
“It’s OK, it’s OK. It’s OK, buddy. It’s OK. Open, papi, open,” Benito is heard saying in the bodycam video.
“I bent down to see if I could see the object in the child’s mouth, and from there I randomly just put my finger in the child’s mouth to see if I could try and dislodge the item, and I was able to successfully do so,” said Dorcely.
“He was turning blue. The baby couldn’t breathe, so when they said he’s breathing, I became very happy and cried a lot of happy tears,” said the boy’s grandmother, Olga Rodriguez, through a translator.
On Monday, Sweetwater Mayor Orlando Lopez and Chief of Police Placido Diaz bestowed a life-saving award to both officers.
“Their acts were very unselfish for the community, and this is where their training comes in to make sure that the life of this child was saved,” said Lopez.
“I think the only goal for myself and Sgt. Benito was to save the child’s life, and once we knew he was OK, and we’d be able to wait for fire rescue to arrive, that’s when the relief came for us,” said Dorcely.
The boy and his grandmother were in attendance for the ceremony. They even posed for a picture with Benito and Dorcely.
Rodriguez said her family will be forever grateful to both of them.
“Our family is very grateful to the two officers, because thanks to their quick actions and abilities, the baby is with us today, and we say thank you, thank you very much,” she said.
Benito and Dorcely credited their training with helping them save the toddler’s life.
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