Deputies hailed as heroes after infant found not breathing during traffic stop
LAKEWOOD, Calif., — A routine Southern California traffic stop led to a race for life Monday evening, after a sheriff deputy stopped an erratic and speeding driver and discovered a frantic man holding a 9-month-old boy who had stopped breathing.
The child, who has not been identified, was later listed in stable condition after deputies rushed him – with CPR in progress – to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, nearly 10 miles from the location of the initial traffic stop.
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Two deputies are now being hailed as heroes after the dramatic incident and numerous other deputies who helped clear a safe path for the two officials are being credited for their roles in the dramatic save as well.
Monday night’s incident began about 10:20 p.m., when Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy Tyler Milton spotted a vehicle driving erratically on Lakewood Boulevard near the 91 Freeway, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Cpt. Richard Harpham and other sources familiar with the traffic stop and life-saving efforts.
As Milton was conducting the traffic stop the vehicle suddenly pulled over and a man carrying an unresponsive baby jumped out of the car. Milton quickly confirmed the child was not breathing and was in need of immediate life-saving measures, at which time the quick-thinking deputy put out a priority radio call for assistance and immediately began trying to resuscitate the child.
Responding to Milton’s radio call, Deputy Alissa Farrington raced up to the scene just moments later. Not wasting a single moment waiting for an ambulance crew, Milton jumped into the back of Farrington’s patrol vehicle – leaving his own patrol abandoned with its lights still flashing at the scene of the stop – and he continued CPR while Farrington raced to the nearest hospital with lights flashing and siren blaring.
Other area deputies who also responded to the call for assistance sped ahead to each intersection, stopping all traffic and creating a safe path for the two deputies racing the infant to the emergency room. A law enforcement helicopter also reportedly assisted by radioing and updating traffic conditions and potential obstacles while literally lighting the path for the ground deputies below.
Moments before racing into the parking lot of the hospital’s emergency room, Milton’s efforts paid off and the infant began breathing again, according to Harpham.
Dramatic video footage of the deputies’ arrival, captured by Loudlabs News and later used by various local media, showed Farrington racing her patrol vehicle up to the emergency room’s doors and Milton racing into the ER while cradling the small boy in his arms.
He quickly delivered the child to waiting and prepped medical personnel, who had already been notified of the incoming emergency. More than a half-dozen other patrol vehicles pulled into the parking lot even before the ER doors had swung closed behind the two deputies.
Officials say there are no signs of foul play related to the scary ordeal.
“Without a doubt, they are heroes,” Harpham later said of his deputies. “Their efforts saved a life.”
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Trevor Montgomery, 47, recently moved to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 14 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.