New Jersey detective on lunch break saves choking girl at next table

New Jersey detective saves young girl from choking while on lunch break

Manchester police Det. Richard Jupinka was at a nearby table when he rushed to help the girl’s uncle to save her

A New Jersey detective was on his lunch break last week when he sprang into action to save a young girl who was choking on her food, authorities said Monday. 

Detective Richard Jupinka was at a nearby table at Café Napoli around 1:50 p.m. on July 14 when he saw a 10-year-old girl choking as her uncle was trying to save her, Manchester Township Police said. 

The uncle was unsuccessfully trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver, police said. The incident was caught on surveillance video inside the restaurant. 

Surveillance video inside a café shows Manchester police Det. Richard Jupinka rushing to help save a 10-year-old who was choking.
(Manchester Township Police)

“At that point, Det. Jupinka assumed care of the child and through the use of the Heimlich Maneuver, he was able to quickly clear the food obstruction from the child’s airway,” the department said in a statement. 

The child was then able to breathe normally, police said. The family declined medical attention and thanked Jupinka – a 19-year veteran – for intervening. 

“Thankfully, one of our officers was in the right place at the right time,” Chief Robert Dolan said. “Had he not been there, this incident could have ended much differently.”

The day after Jupinka’s actions, a police officer from nearby Island Heights rescued a child from a hot car, NJ.com reported. The officer then arranged to help pay for the window he was forced to break. 

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