Police detective saves choking girl at restaurant while eating lunch at next table, video shows

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Detective Richard Jupinka was eating at a restaurant in Manchester, New Jersey, when he observed the girl choking. (Manchester Township Police)

(NEXSTAR) – A police detective in New Jersey was “in the right place at the right time” to save a choking child, surveillance video shows.

Detective Richard Jupinka was eating lunch at the Café Napoli restaurant in Manchester, New Jersey, last week when a child seated at a nearby table began to choke. The girl’s uncle, seeing that she was unable to breathe, attempted the Heimlich maneuver but was unsuccessful in dislodging the obstruction, according to a Facebook post from the Manchester Police Department.

Detective Jupinka then stepped in to perform the Heimlich, and “was able to quickly clear” the girl’s airway, police wrote.

Surveillance footage shared by the Manchester Police Department shows the scene unfold in a matter of seconds on the afternoon of July 14. In the short clip, Detective Jupinka can be seen standing from his seat to observe the uncle attempting the Heimlich, before attending to the child himself.

“Thankfully, one of our officers was in the right place at the right time,” said Manchester Police Chief Robert Dolan of Detective Jupinka’s actions. “Had he not been there, this incident could have ended much differently.”

Folks on Facebook further heaped praise on the police officer after seeing the video.

“Amazing response!! Thank God you were there!!” wrote one viewer.

“I think an award is in order here,” someone else suggested.

“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” said another Facebook user who appeared to know Detective Jupinka personally. “Rick is a great guy!”

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