By Maria Rocha-Buschel
Two 13th precinct cops were recognized last week for their quick actions in saving a man who was choking in Midtown earlier this month. Deputy Inspector Steven Hellman gave police officers Angela Villota and Mayela Arthur the Cop of the Month award at the most recent 13th Precinct Community Council meeting last week for their work in the incident that took place on Wednesday, June 13 around 5:15 p.m.
Hellman said that Officers Villota and Arthur were assigned to the Trump detail in Midtown and were traveling north on Third Avenue near East 39th Street in the 17th precinct when a man walked up to their vehicle holding his neck and saying that he couldn’t breathe because he was choking on a piece of chicken.
Arthur immediately requested backup from EMS while Villota began to perform the Heimlich maneuver. The victim ultimately coughed up a small object, allowing him to breathe normally again.
“Both officers’ heroic actions saved this man’s life,” Hellman said. “If not for their quick thinking, the victim could have choked to death.”
Hellman also acknowledged Lieutenant Robert Alford with Administration for Children’s Services police at the recent meeting for his work with the NYPD, especially with the recent spike of arrests involving teenagers who live at the agency’s First Avenue facility. Hellman said that although there has been an increase in arrests in the last few weeks, he said that it’s often a case of kids messing around and the situation escalates, but the teens don’t wander the neighborhood intending to commit violent robberies.
“The ACS building isn’t a detention facility but ACS police works with us on these incidents,” Hellman said.
“All these apprehensions we’re making, ACS helps make it a smooth transition and gives us the information we need. It’s a great relationship.”