Atchison police officer credited for saving choking infant

The police officer happened to be nearby and arrived at the family's home in under a minute.

Posted: May 9, 2019 10:17 AM
Updated: May 9, 2019 4:51 PM

(ATCHISON, Kan.) A police officer in Atchison is being hailed a hero after saving an 11-month-old girl from choking. 

It all happened one afternoon when the family was putting together a playpen for the girl, they put her in another room for just a moment, when somehow she found a piece of food and put it in her mouth.

"We tried to get it out of her throat," Eric Johnson, father said. "I couldn't dislodge it from her throat."

Their infant daughter was choking, the family was frantic trying to save her.

"I was completely baffled," Brittany Johnson, mother said. "I was crying I was freaking out."

The family says that's when they called 911.

Officer Wyatt Richardson of the Atchison Police Department just so happened to be two minutes away and was at the family's front door in under a minute. 

"The father came out," Richardson said. "I could tell the baby was blue and not breathing."

Officer Richardson knew exactly what to do he turned the baby over and began tapping her back removing the blockage from Alexia's throat.

He said he credits proper training and his ability to remain calm in a stressful situation. 

As for the Johnson family, they're thankful Officer Richardson was just in the right place at the right time.

"If he hadn't shown up at the time he did, I can't say for sure if we would've had our daughter still." Eric Johnson said. 

"I owe him my life," Brittany said. "Because he saved my world."

Officer Richardson said he is humbled by the support from the police department as well as the city of Atchison. The Johnson's have four kids and a fifth on the way.

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