Off-duty CHP officer recognized for saving boy from choking in Redwood City

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The actions of an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer Friday saved a 5-year-old boy who was choking on a grape as his mother desperately tried to help inside a store in Redwood City, CHP officials said.

CHP Officer Art Montiel, the public-information officer for the agency's Redwood City office, was shopping at a grocery store in the city shortly after noon Friday when he noticed a woman in distress in the produce section, officers said. The woman was crying while slapping the back of her 5-year-old son, Miguel Alvarez, whom Montiel determined was chocking on something, according to the CHP.

Montiel began to give emergency aid for the child's obstructed air passage by administering thrusts to the boy's abdomen and blows to his back, CHP officials said. The officer also asked bystanders to call 911 for emergency responders, but the boy eventually spit up the obstruction, a small grape, and started breathing normally again, according to the CHP.

Montiel continued to look after the boy until medical personnel arrived.

“We are proud of Officer Montiel and thankful that Miguel is alright,” CHP Redwood City Capt. Mike Maskarich said.

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