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Speed, Training Help Garfield Police Officer Save 5-Year-Old Boy's Life

Grandfather David Samiel Sr. and Father Barry Samiel help David Samiel II exchange thank you cards with Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez.
Grandfather David Samiel Sr. and Father Barry Samiel help David Samiel II exchange thank you cards with Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser
David Samiel II & Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez.
David Samiel II & Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser
David Samiel II hugs Officer Francisco Sanchez.
David Samiel II hugs Officer Francisco Sanchez. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser
Grandfather David Samiel Sr. and Father Barry Samiel help David Samiel II exchange thank you cards with Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez.
Grandfather David Samiel Sr. and Father Barry Samiel help David Samiel II exchange thank you cards with Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez. Photo Credit: Matt Speiser

GARFIELD, N.J. -- Garfield Police Officer Francisco Sanchez knew he didn't have much time when he found a 5-year-old boy choking on a quarter Saturday afternoon.

"I pulled up and they are putting him into the car to take him to the hospital and I grab him," Sanchez said. "I was going to do the Heimlich Maneuver, but he was already starting to go limp.

"So I sat him on my knee and I gave him four blows to his back and he started throwing up and the quarter popped out."

Loved ones of David Samiel II were grateful.

"Always put your faith in the police," Samiel's grandfather David Samiel Sr. said.

Sanchez showed up less than 30 seconds after he dialed 911, the elder Samiel said.

"I had no idea that police could respond that fast," he said.

The boy was playing xBox when he found a quarter and put it in his mouth, his grandfather said.

"He came running out of the room and told us he swallowed a quarter," he said.

Wallace dialed 911 when he couldn't get at the coin.

Sanchez said he was only two and a half blocks away when the call came in around 5:30 p.m.

"Officer Sanchez pulled up perfect timing right before we were about to take him to the hospital," Samiel Sr. explained. "He immediately grabbed baby David, starting calming him down, talking to him, so he could relax."

Training made the difference, said Sanchez, a 20-year department veteran.

"It's all muscle memory," he said. "If you do more training it just comes naturally."

Sanchez said he was relieved by the outcome.

"When he started breathing again, so did I," he said.

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