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Sheriff’s deputy thanked for saving baby girl from choking at Bonelli Park in San Dimas


Deputy Joe Chavez with the 15-month-old La Puente girl whose life he saved at Bonelli Park on May 27, 2012.

Family members are singing the praises of an L.A. County sheriff’s deputy who saved their 15-month-old girl’s life as she choked on food in a San Dimas park.

Deputy Joe Chavez was at Bonelli Park -- a regional park surrounding Puddingstone Reservoir -- on another call when he heard a mother screaming that her daughter couldn’t breathe.

According to a Sheriff’s Department statement, Chavez and his partner, Deputy Kevin Johnson, were there on May 27 in the late afternoon to assist authorities with another child who had suffered a head injury. That’s when the 15-month-old child’s family, identified only as La Puente residents, called for assistance.

While Johnson flagged down some nearby paramedics, Chavez ran to the girl and found she was “blue and not breathing,” deputies said. And he did what any deputy would do: He got the food out of her throat, clearing the passage and allowing her to breathe again.

Deputies said the girl was taken to a nearby hospital for observation, but “is now back at home doing fine.”

The mother, of course, “said she was very grateful the deputy saved her baby.” Deputy Chavez was not immediately available for comment.

Chavez and Johnson are members of the Sheriff’s Parks Bureau, which “polices 177 county parks, golf courses and special event venues throughout Los Angeles County,” according to the statement.

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