MESQUITE, Nevada - A local police officer is being heralded as a hero after he helped a 3-year-old boy who was choking. The boy’s mother said if not for the quick action of the officer, her son would have died.
Officer Quinn Averett was on his way home Monday night, when he received a report of a panicked 911 call. The dispatcher only reported yelling. Averett was nearby, and he went to check it out.
“I heard someone say something about choking,” Averett said. “As I go in, what later was the mother, who was screaming that her son was choking.”
Store surveillance video shows Averett jump into action, hitting 3-year-old Damien Cardiel on the back to clear his throat. After several attempts, a piece of candy finally came out.
“He had him for like a minute,” Damien’s mother, Mariana recalls. “Trying to hit him in the back until he got the candy out.”
Damien was evaluated by medics who arrived shortly after, but at the time Mariana said they didn’t get to thank officer Averett--Friday morning, Damien and his mother got that chance.
“He just walked out, and I just hugged him and I started crying,” Mariana said. “I’m so thankful for him, because if not, I’m not sure what I would have done.”
Averett said it was a humbling experience for him too, to meet the people he had the opportunity to help.
“I’m grateful I was able to hear the call and respond to it,” Averett said. “I was close enough to get there in time to help him.”
Mariana says Damien likely won’t remember exactly what happened to him, but it’s an act of heroism they’ll never forget.