WEST HILLS (CBLA.com) — An LAPD officer is being called a hero after saving a man’s life.
Officer Mark Mireles was on his lunch break when a man began choking. Mireles sprang into action.
KCAL9’s Peter Daut spoke with the officer. It’s an interview that is Only On 9.
Security video from the California Chicken Cafe in West Hills shows how the story unfolded on Sunday.
A man in white suddenly gets up from his table and hunches over.
The man is stand up from his table and is unable to breathe. The man’s wife and son watch helplessly as he begins to choke.
The woman pulls out her cellphone and begins to call 911.
Several patrons walk by but no one stops to assist.
Mireles happened to be on his lunch break and on his way to get a soda.
The woman calls him over an explains that her husband is having trouble.
“It was evident that his airway was obstructed,” Mireles said, “because he couldn’t even make a sound. I knew that I had seconds to act.”
Mireles then began performing the Heimlich maneuver.
“I gave him about three or four thrusts and I was telling my partner to call an ambulance,” Mireles said.
After clearing the man’s airway, officer Mireles waits with him until paramedics arrive.
“It’s ironic because we had just completed first aid training about five weeks ago,” the officer said.
Daut reported that this is not the first time Mireles has been credited with saving a life. The 48-year-old has received three medals of valor during his two-and-a-half decades with the department.
A humble Mireles does not consider himself to be a hero and says he was only doing his job.
“The right place at the right time? Some people would say you’re at the wrong place at the right time,” Mireles said.
He said he hopes this story will inspire other people to learn life-saving techniques.
“A person should go out, and go out and get some training,” Mireles said, reminding the public that you never know when the knowledge could come in handy.
The choking victim declined to speak with Daut on camera but says he is grateful to the officer for saving his life.