By Bill Parry
A rookie cop at the 115th Precinct in Jackson Heights became a local hero this summer when his quick action saved the life of a toddler.
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) and City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) joined Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) and Deputy Inspector Carlos Ortiz, the commanding officer of the 115th Precinct, last Friday inside the Chambers of City Hall to honor Police Officer Osvaldo Nunez, presenting him with a proclamation commemorating his heroics.
On July 30, Nunez administered CPR on Leah, an unresponsive 20-month-old girl in front of the station house on Northern Boulevard after her distressed mother, 26-year-old Jackson Heights resident Rebeca Alarcon ran up to him crying.
“My daughter’s not breathing, my daughter’s not breathing,” she said.
The mother had tried to perform CPR on her baby herself when she became hysterical and sought help. Alarcon approached Nunez at the precinct’s front door, who told him her daughter had suffered a seizure. Nunez leapt into action, confirming that the toddler was unresponsive and had no pulse so he took the child inside, placed her on a stool and began performing CPR.
Moments later, after Nunez performed a second round of chest compressions, Leah opened her eyes. Medics raced the child to Elmhurst Hospital Center where she was treated and released.
“I could never explain the feeling that ran through my body at that time. Words can never describe how I felt,” Nunez said. “The happiness and look of relief on her mother’s face was priceless. This was the reason I always wanted to become a police officer: to help people and be a positive role model to the community.”
Nunez, 22, had graduated from the NYPD’s Police Academy just one month before saving the child’s life.
“It was an absolute pleasure to applaud Police Officer Nunez for his act of heroism,” Dromm said. “Because of his quick thinking and immediate response, one of my youngest constituents is alive and well today. Remarkably, Officer Nunez had been on the force for only a few weeks. His career is off to a wonderful start. We are so proud to have him here, serving the people of Jackson Heights.”
Nunez hopes to one day earn a detective’s shield but for now, he is happy being part of New York’s Finest.
“I will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to become an NYPD police officer,” Nunez said. “I will always wear the uniform with honor.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr