Washington police officer saves 6-month-old baby while working overtime

Officer Dustin Johnson was in the right place at the right time.

November 6, 2018, 3:58 PM

A Washington police officer's decision to work late on Halloween helped him save a baby girl's life.

Dustin Johnson of the Tukwila Police Department was at the end of his shift when he and other officers responded to a 911 call. When Johnson arrived at the scene, 6-month-old Lamiayla was lying on the floor, struggling to breathe. Johnson immediately started performing CPR on the baby.

"When you walk in the door, you can't let emotion take a hold of you," Johnson told ABC News. "You just have to be in the moment and do what you have to do."

PHOTO: Officer Dustin Johnson saved a 6-month-old baby's life after he performed CPR on her in Tukwila, Wash., Oct.31 2018.
Officer Dustin Johnson saved a 6-month-old baby's life after he performed CPR on her in Tukwila, Wash., Oct.31 2018.
Tukwila Police Department

Lamiayla had a fever of 104.5 degrees, and her tongue was swollen and blocking her airway, Johnson said. The officer said Lamiayla's mother told him that she had been diagnosed with flu-like symptoms earlier that day.

"She was almost purple. She was very sweaty. She was really hot to the touch," Johnson said.

PHOTO: Dustin Johnson joined the Tukwila Police Department in May after he was with the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana.
Dustin Johnson joined the Tukwila Police Department in May after he was with the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana.
Tukwila Police Department

Johnson swept the baby's mouth, performed rescue breaths and then got her into the recovery position as she became responsive again.

"After she reached up and grabbed my finger, I was able to stop and relax a little bit," Johnson said. "I was so happy. I was so excited."

The girl was then transported to a hospital. He said the family was extremely grateful and have been sending him photos and videos of Lamiayla.

"Now I got an extended family up here, so to speak," Johnson said.

This is not the first time that Johnson has performed CPR on a child. Johnson said he also had to perform CPR on his 3-year-old daughter, who was born premature and has special needs. He said he was glad to be able to use his skills to help Lamiayla.

"I'm grateful that I was put in the time and the place and have the experience and the knowledge that I had to be able to keep her around," Johnson said.

Johnson and his family recently moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in May. He had previously earned awards while working as a police officer in Baton Rouge.

"I’m grateful to have him. The citizens of Tukwila, they’re grateful to have him," Tukwila Police Chief Bruce Linton told ABC Seattle affiliate KOMO.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events