MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Sweetwater police officer who helped save a baby who had stopped breathing on a South Florida expressway last month was honored at a commission meeting Monday night.
Ofc. Amauris Bastidas was named the Sweetwater Police Department’s “Officer of the Month.”
He was also presented with two plaques, one from the American Red Cross and the other on behalf of the mayor and commission.
“I was in the right place at the right time to be able to help the baby,” Bastidas said.
The father of 3 boys said he had his own children on his mind when he hopped out of his car on the gridlocked highway on February 20th.
5-month-old Sebastian de la Cruz was with his aunt Pamela Rauseo as she drove along the 836 when she noticed he wasn’t breathing.
She stopped in the middle of the road and started screaming.
That caught the attention of Miami Herald photojournalist Al Diaz who happened to be in the car behind her.
Diaz found Officer Bastidas a few cars back.
“It’s like he was my baby,” Bastidas said as he looked at a photo of him clutching the child.
Ofc. Bastidas, who was not on duty at the time, helped Rauseo and a Good Samaritan, Lucila Godoy, administer CPR.
“Not only was he in the right place at the right time, but he did something about it and contributed to saving a life,” said Carlos Castillo with the American Red Cross.
Castillo urged others to get certified, too.
Sweetwater Police Chief Jesus Menocal said the department offers CPR training to all officers.
“He was tested and he proved to be worthy. He’s a very good officer,” Chief Menocal said.
Bastidas insisted it’s all in a days work.
“I was just doing my job, like everybody else does,” he said.
Sebastian de la Cruz is now out of the hospital.
Since his ordeal, his mother has announced she’s expecting another child.