California Police Officers Save Choking 8-Year-Old Boy

California Police Officers Save Choking 8-Year-Old Boy

El Monte police officers save the life of an 8-year-old boy who was choking on a piece of candy with a LifeVac device. (El Monte Police Department/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service


Updated: 6/10/2024


EL MONTE, Calif.—El Monte police officers recently saved the life of an 8-year-old boy who was choking on a piece of candy, with officials June 7 crediting the use of a device designed to help remove obstructions from people’s airways.
According to the El Monte Police Department, Officers Raul Vega and Dennis Chiu and Cpl. Carlos Tello responded around 8 p.m. last Monday to a home where a child was choking. Mr. Vega was the first to arrive at the scene and located Ethan Cante unconscious with his air passage blocked by a piece of candy.
Mr. Chiu responded shortly and provided Mr. Vega with an anti-choking device known as a LifeVac, and used it to successfully clear the child’s airway.
“Luckily, with my partners and the training that we had, we were able to get [the candy] out,” Mr. Vega said.
“Our police department supplied 200 of these to our patrol officers and the city employees, and this is a lifesaver. For 60 to 70 dollars, this is going to save someone’s life,” Mr. Vega added.
The El Monte Police Department purchased 200 LifeVacs in April, and Ethan was the first person on whom one of the devices was used.
“I am proud of our officers who were able to utilize the device and save the life of a child in a matter of seconds,” El Monte Police Chief Jake Fisher said in a statement.
He said equipping officers with the LifeVac devices was a valuable step to save lives in critical moments when every second can count.
Ethan and his mother, Vanessa Becerra-Aguayo, are expected to join the El Monte City Council and police department officials Tuesday night to award a Life Saving Award to Mr. Vega, Mr. Chiu, and Mr. Tello.
Dispatchers Veronica Chacon and Sandra Gonzalez will also receive recognition with a department commendation for their professional and critical response to the emergency call while officers arrived at the scene.

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