Watch Mich. Police Officer Help Save 18-Month-Old Boy who Stopped Breathing

April 3, 2024
Body camera footage captured Sterling Heights Police Officer Wendall Potts performing chest compressions on a young boy who was unresponsive at a home goods store.

A Michigan police officer is being honored after he helped save an 18-month-old baby who stopped breathing at a home goods store in February.

The life-saving response by Sterling Heights Police Officer Wendall Potts happened following a 9-1-1 call at about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 19, WJBK-TV reports. A man walked into a home goods store begging store employees for help with his small child, who was not breathing.

"The worst kind of run you can get (is) an infant/baby not breathing," said Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski.

When Potts reached the scene, he quickly moved the boy from the cashier's table to the floor and checked the child's vitals. Potts then began performing chest compressions on the child.

"C'mon, buddy. C'mon, buddy," Potts is heard saying in recently released body camera footage of the incident.

Once medics arrived, Potts carried the child to an ambulance outside the business, and police shut down roads so an ambulance could rush the boy to the hospital. 

"Thank God, the child made it, and he's doing well," said Dwojakowski. "Just a really good outcome."

The boy had a pre-existing heart condition, but because of a language barrier with his parents, who are Arabic, Potts and medic were unaware of that condition, which was revealed after the incident.

The city plans to honor Potts and the others who helped save the child. Dwojakowski believes that the modest Potts would prefer not to have the attention.

"I’m sure he doesn’t want the recognition or the award ceremony," said the chief. "His reward is that baby living. That's all he needs. But hey, if there's someone that wants to give us an award for doing something like that, that’s great." 

About the Author

Joe Vince

Joining Endeavor Business Media in 2018, Joe has worked on the company's city services publications. He began working at OFFICER.com as the assistant editor. Before starting at Endeavor, Joe had worked for a variety of print and online news outlets, including the Indianapolis Star, the South Bend Tribune, Reddit and Patch.com.

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