GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Their job is to protect and serve and one Grand Prairie police officer has proved it’s not a duty he takes lightly. On Friday at the Mid-Autumn Festival at Asia Times Square, AJ Castaneda saw a choking child and stepped into action.
“All of the sudden I see a lady run out of the entrance and she’s holding a baby,” Castaneda said. “The child was just lifeless. The arms and legs were just dangling there as she ran towards me. She was Nigerian. Huge language barrier.”
Castaneda said he knew what to do and began giving the one-year-old boy back blows until he spit out a white object and started breathing again.
“I got kind of teary eyed because it’s very emotional,” he said. “You have a child’s life in your hands and it was very, very emotional.”
In the days following, Castaneda has been called a hero, lifesaver and blessing on social media.
“I’ve been getting a lot of text messages and phone calls,” Castaneda said. “The outpouring has really been great. I’m just doing my job.”
“To me he is a hero,” Asia Times Square CEO Matthew Loh said. “The more I know about AJ, the more I admire him. For him, he just thinks that’s everyday life. That’s amazing. That speaks volumes of his character.”
“Whatever I can do for the children of the world,” Castaneda said. “I want to give. Children are great. They’re our future.”