BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – We don’t know his name or where he lives, but a young boy and his family might be very glad that two troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol happened to be taking their dinner break at a local restaurant last Friday night.
It had already been a busy afternoon shift Friday when Troopers Ben Miller and Dan DeLuca stopped to grab a bite at the Chick-fil-A on US-224 in Boardman. Surveillance video captured the young boy suddenly in distress.
“I heard it. I turned around and ended up getting behind him,’ Miller said.
Miller stood behind the boy as DeLuca asked him if he was OK. At first, the child said yes and then he said no.
“I’m looking at him right in the eyes, and I could see his demeanor change and his body language change,” DeLuca said.
At that moment, training and reaction kicked in. Miller did the Heimlich maneuver on the boy.
“This is where it gets fuzzy. I don’t know exactly what he told me, but he either said do it or give him the Heimlich,” Miller said.
DeLuca said there was no hesitation. Miller performed the maneuver and dislodged whatever was in the boy’s throat.
Store manager Rachel Lipinsky said it all happened very fast. She said everyone was grateful that the troopers were there.
“Thank goodness they were right there because they got right up and helped him out,” Lipinsky said.
The troopers followed the boy into the restroom to make sure he was OK.
Few customers in the restaurant even realized what had just happened. DeLuca said the boy recovered quickly and returned to his party.
“Our lunch break was up so we just went back to the road,” DeLuca said.
Troopers never learned the boy’s name or where he lives.
While DeLuca has been with the Highway Patrol since 2010, his young partner is just six weeks out of the academy. Now, they’ve experienced a lesson they can share.
“Be prepared for anything,” Deluca said.