Yukon Police credited with saving infant’s life

Officers respond quickly to 911 call about seven-week-old choking

In this screen shot of body camera video, Yukon Police Sgt. Clay Rush clears the airway of a seven-week-old infant who was choking on gripe water. (Image provided)

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

Yukon police officers are being lauded as heroes for saving an infant’s life.

Sgt. Clay Rush, Capt. Matt Catron and Sgt. Chase Kovarik were credited for their quick actions after a frantic grandmother called 911 on Oct. 3 to report her seven-week-old grandson was choking.


Dispatchers immediately started police, fire and emergency medical personnel to render aid at a home in the Kingsridge Addition.

The Yukon Police Department recently released body camera video of their officers’ response to the medical emergency, which shows Sgt. Rush first to arrive at the scene.

The infant was choking on gripe water, a non-prescription product that helps to aid digestion and relieves gastrointestinal ailments in babies.

“It’s a syrup, when they have upset tummies,” Yukon Deputy Police Chief John Brown said. “We think they had given him a lot of it, and it lodged in his throat.”

Sgt. Clay Rush

Sgt. Rush immediately began life-saving efforts in the front yard to clear the baby’s airway and make sure he was back breathing normally.

Capt. Catron and Sgt. Kovarik provided additional care until the Yukon Fire Department arrived.

Capt. Matt Catron

The infant was medically checked by YFD and Pafford EMS. He is doing well.

All three officers are veterans of the police department. They are trained to provide aid at medical emergencies because police often are the first responders to arrive on scene, Deputy Chief Brown pointed out.

Rush has been with the YPD since May 2011, Catron since July 2012 and Kovarik since October 2014.



Sgt. Chase Kovarik

After Yukon Police shared audio and video of the incident, they were commended on social media.

“Praise God for the properly trained officers!” Alexandria Elizabeth posted. “In situations like this, seconds matter and they knew exactly what to do without hesitation!”

Janie Cross wrote, “Great work, officers. You are truly angels!”

Canadian County Judge Charles W. Gass added, “Amazing job YPD.”