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Officer hailed as hero

Joseph Gilroy • Dec 20, 2019 at 4:00 PM

A Norwalk police officer is credited with saving the life of a man who was choking at a South Linwood residence Wednesday in the early morning hours.

The Norwalk Police Department said Scott Hamernik is being hailed as a hero after jumping into action and performing the Heimlich maneuver on a Norwalk resident.

Cody A. Felter, 22, was eating when he got a piece of chicken lodged in his throat and it became apparent that he was choking. Donald Orth, who was with Felter, had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1 for help.

It took Hamernik just two minutes to arrive after the call was placed. 

Norwalk police chief Mike Conney said that he was excited to hear the good news and took pride in the response time.

“It was right up the road from here, and his response was quite frankly, was amazing,” Conney said. “I can tell you from experience that when you get a call and someone is in jeopardy of losing their life, you move pretty quickly to those calls ... he got there rapidly. Scott just happened to be right here when the call came in and flew across Main, got over there, gave him the Heimlich, which brought out quite a bit of chicken that was stuck in the poor guy’s throat.”

Hamernik, a lifelong Norwalk resident, has been with the police department since last June — previously he worked 12 years as a corrections officer with Erie County.

“He’s actually one of our newer officers, but he’s one of our best performers,” Conney said. “He is such an asset to this place. I have had zero complaints about him and yet he is one of the most active people when it comes to enforcing the law — especially when it comes to traffic laws, you get a lot of complaints and he has had none.”

Felter was unavailable for comment.

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