CIM Correctional Officer Martin Reyes, center, saved a baby’s life. He’s flanked by Chief Deputy Warden David Holbrook, left, and Warden Dean Borders.

By Lt. Tom Lopez, AA/PIO
California Institution for Men

A family visiting their incarcerated relative has a quick-thinking correctional officer to thank for saving an infant’s life.

On Oct. 8, 2017, Correctional Officer Martin Reyes was assigned to the Facility A, Visiting Yard, at California Institution for Men.

While patrolling the yard, he saw an infant being held by a panic-stricken parent. The infant appeared to be choking.

Officer Reyes told his partner to call for help and immediately responded to the child. After getting permission from the child’s mother, Officer Martin began life-saving measures on the choking infant. He took the infant in his arms and applied two crisp back blows to try to dislodge the item in the baby’s throat. Those attempts were unsuccessful so he quickly began abdominal thrusts. It only took one thrust when a piece of candy dislodged.

The child’s mother yelled, “he is breathing!”

“The work ethic and dedication of professionalism you have displayed is considered an invaluable asset to CIM and CDCR as a whole,” said Warden Dean Borders. “Officer Martin (Reyes), your quick thinking and attention to detail in this case saved a life and I personally want to thank you for it.”