Riverhead Officer Saves Two Lives In One Day

Riverhead police officer Michael Lombardo with the choking victim May 18. Independent/Riverhead Police Department

A 25-year veteran of the Riverhead Police Department is being celebrated for saving two lives in separate incidents Sunday.

At 3:15 PM May 17, Lombardo was first on the scene on Industrial Boulevard, responding to a call where a man reportedly had his hand trapped underneath his vehicle. Lombardo found the victim in distress with his hand crushed underneath the brake rotor. Police said it appeared the man had taken off his tire when the jack tipped over, causing the vehicle to drop and the brake rotor, which landed directly onto his hand.

The Riverhead Fire Department was going to be contacted to assist in removing the vehicle, police said, but Lombardo acted quickly and utilized the same jack to lift the car high enough so the victim could free his hand. The victim was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps for his injury. Police said the man was released from the hospital with a broken finger and lacerations to his hand.

But that wasn’t all. During the same shift, at 7:21 PM, Riverhead police were called to a report of a man choking inside a home on Hamilton Avenue.

Again, police said Lombardo was first on the scene and found the man “actively choking and in distress” on the front porch. The officer ran to the porch and began performing the Heimlich maneuver, and police said the victim started to “become limp from the lack of oxygen.” Police said it took numerous attempts to dislodge what ended up being a piece of chicken.

The man was able to eventually breath on his own, and was transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center by the Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps for further evaluation. The man was released later that evening from the hospital and is doing fine.

The Riverhead Police Department said it “would like to acknowledge the excellent work done” by officer Lombardo during the two incidents.

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