National News

Body cam shows Mesa police officer saving heroin overdose victim

Posted August 16, 2017 3:41 p.m. EDT

— Dramatic new body camera video shows a Mesa police officer helping to save a man who allegedly overdosed on heroin.

The video was released by the Mesa Police Department.

It shows an officer arriving at a drug overdose call in July.

"I saw the patient on the ground in the parking lot. He didn't appear to be breathing and his lips were turning purple," said Mesa police officer Joshua Leon.

But the quick thinking and training by Officer Leon prompted him to jump in and immediately start chest compressions to try and save the victim.

After performing CPR for about 45 seconds, the victim began moving his lips again. According to Leon he also started feeling his heart beating again. "I stopped doing compressions once I could feel his heart maintaining a regular pace."

By that time, a second officer arrived at the scene and was able to assist.

Meanwhile, the victim's friend started explaining to officers what happened. According to Officer Leon, the friend told them he picked his buddy up at a known drug area. While driving down the street the victim started gasping for air and then fell unconscious.

His friend froze. "He was scared. He just kind of stood there in shock, as anyone would, basically, watching his friend die in front of him," said Officer Leon.

Fortunately, Officer Leon was able to save the victim. But he hopes this is the victim's wake up call to straighten up his life. "He needs to get into rehab and do what he can to break that habit because ultimately it's going to kill him."