KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day watching the Royals at Kauffman Stadium nearly turned tragic Thursday afternoon, until a Kansas City police officer stepped in to save the day.
Officer Matt Deloux took the day off Thursday to take his son to Kauffman Stadium for the Royals game. They joined thousands of other kids and their teachers at the game.
Deloux said as he stood in the parking lot during lunch, he found himself in the middle of an emergency. A child ran over and grabbed his arm, and at first Deloux thought he was joking.
“I looked over and noticed he was in distress. He wasn’t making any noise,” he said.
Deloux said as soon as he realized the child wasn’t joking, he immediately stepped in to help.
He said he wanted to avoid the Heimlich maneuver because he feared he would injure the child. Instead, Deloux said he put his arm across the boy’s diaphragm, bent him over and hit his back.
“I just bent him over and gave him taps on the back pretty hard. I put my arm across his diaphragm to kind of aid and give that extra force,” he said.
Deloux said it took a minute to dislodge the chocolate bar stuck in the child’s throat.
“He said I was the most professional looking. That’s why he ran over to me,” he said.
The boy is from the Platte City area and attended the game with his class. Deloux said he heard the boy is doing well and will recover from the scare.
“No one likes bad things to happen, especially to kids and innocents. It was nice I was able to be there to help him in that moment,” he said.
The Kansas City Police Department said Deloux saved his son’s life several years ago when he also choked on food.
KCPD Chief Stacey Graves said it’s an example of how important CPR and other lifesaving training are.
“These are skills everyone should know how to do just to help one another, even if our family members are in distress,” Graves said. “Here’s an officer — off-duty — but sees someone in distress and still acts. You don’t have to have the uniform on to be there to act and help someone.”