A Special Operations Bureau officer on St. Croix saved the life of 44-year-old Gregory Galloway in Estate Sunday: Richmond swallowed a bag of cocaine and it lodged in his throat.
Traffic Enforcement and Special Operations Bureau officers were on saturated patrol performing a random check for drunk drivers, when they stopped Galloway driving a Chevy Lumina around 10 p.m.
According to police, the smell of marijuana was emanating from the vehicle, and when Galloway got out of the car, officers noticed that he placed a clear plastic bag in his mouth, attempting to swallow it.
Police said the officers told Galloway to spit the bag out, but he refused and shortly after, collapsed and stopped breathing.
An officer performed the Heimlich maneuver and CPR on Galloway, removed the plastic bag, and later, revived him. The bag tested positive for cocaine, and after Galloway refused medical treatment, he was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and interfering with an officer discharging his duties.
Bail was set for Galloway at $1,000. Assistant Police Commissioner Raymond L. Hyndman congratulated the officers involved in saving the suspect’s life.
“I commend the officer’s quick response, his ability to stay calm, assess the situation, and apply the life saving training that has been given to him by the department,” Hyndman said.
The assistant commissioner noted that earlier in the month a press release was issued giving information to the public regarding the CPR and heart defibrillator training officers recently received.
In that press release, Chief of Police Christopher Howell said “The likelihood of police officers being exposed to persons experiencing medical trauma is very high. The more training the officers have, the more likely that a victim can be kept alive until medical personal arrive on the scene.
In this case the training was put to the test and a life was saved.