STANLEY, N.C. (WJZY) — A Gaston County Police officer is being praised for saving a choking student.

On Tuesday, Stanley Middle School staff alerted school resource officer J.C. Pullen about a student’s breathing difficulties.

During Tuesday’s lunch, a staff member escorted a student over to Officer Pullen. He realized that the student was choking and unable to breathe.

Officer Pullen made his way to the student and performed the Heimlich Maneuver to try to dislodge the food stuck in the student’s throat. On the third attempt, the food was dislodged from the student’s throat and he was able to breathe.

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Police said Officer Pullen escorted the student to his office to make sure he was alright. He then called the student’s father to update him on the incident and let the student speak with him.

Officer Pullen with Kaleb. (Gaston County Police)

Without hesitation Officer Pullen jumped into action and ran over to my son. He gave him 3 or 4 quick abdominal Heimlich thrusts which eventually dislodged the food stuck in Kaleb’s throat, allowing him to breath again. Officer Pullen then took Kaleb to his office so he could calm down, and allowed him to talk to me on the phone. Kaleb and I are able to laugh and joke about the situation now, but without the knowledge, training and quick response of Officer Pullen this could have had a much more tragic ending. I’m sure that Kaleb and Officer Pullen will have a special bond the rest of the school year. As for me and the rest of the family, we are forever grateful to Officer Pullen for saving Kaleb’s life.

Kaleb’s father

We would like to take a moment to recognize one of our very own. Officer Pullen has proven himself to be someone who regularly thinks of and prioritizes others, all while preferring no recognition (& would honestly be happier if nobody ever found out) but in this case we feel the need to say thank you! Kaleb, we are glad you are alright and appreciate you and your Dad, SRO Self, for sharing this story. Thank you SRO Pullen for your quick action, care for others, & training. We are sure you and Kaleb will have a lasting bond far longer than this school year.

Gaston County Police