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S.C. police officer gets surprise reunion with little girl he saved in 2019

Young McKenna Delarosa and her mom surprised Officer Jerrid Riley with “a heartwarming reunion,” police said

north charleston police toddler reunion

North Charleston Police Department

By Karina Mazhukhina
The Charlotte Observer

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — A police officer was reunited with a girl he saved from choking two years ago in South Carolina.

Officer Jerrid Riley was greeted in North Charleston City Hall with a hug from McKenna Delarosa and her mom, according to photos shared Dec. 16 on Facebook by the North Charleston Police Department.

Police said Riley was driving on Dorchester Road in North Charleston on Oct. 9, 2019 when he saw “a car driving erratically” with the driver honking her horn,” WCSC reported.

He was about to conduct a traffic stop when he noticed a woman in the passenger’s seat looking “frantic with a toddler in her arms,” WCBD reported.

“Before I put my car in park, the mom and the passenger jumped out of the car, was running back to my vehicle screaming ‘My child can’t breathe, she can’t breathe,’ Riley told WCSC. “And then I just relied on my training at that point.”

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McKenna, 19 months old at the time, was choking on food, according to WCSC.

Riley then performed CPR “by turning the toddler over” and applying “several thrusts to the infant’s back with the heel of his hand to remove or dislodge the object,” WCBD reported.

Police said Riley successfully cleared McKenna’s airway and she “became more alert (and) responsive,” WCBD.

Two years later, McKenna and her mom surprised Riley for “a heartwarming reunion,” police said on Facebook.

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North Charleston is about 111 miles southeast of Columbia.

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