The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

October 17, 2013

Ashtabula cop saves life of 4-year-old boy

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Quick action by an Ashtabula police officer saved the life of a 4-year-old boy.

Thomas Clemens Jr. found himself in the right place at the right time as he drove along Bunker Hill Road at 10:15 a.m. Sunday.

As he approached Murray Avenue, the boy’s frantic parents waved him down.

“Their son was unresponsive,” Chief Robert Stell said. “He was choking, there was blood ... his airway was blocked.”

Clemens, 39, began CPR on the boy who was motionless on the lawn until medical help arrived on the scene.

Stell said the boy recently had a medical procedure, but could not elaborate.

Each year Ashtabula police respond to thousands of calls and they hope they make a difference, he said.

“When young children are involved, though, the job can be more challenging,” Stell said.

The boy was transported to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, where  he was listed in stable, but critical condition Wednesday, Stell said.

“We were told the boy would not have made it without Officer Clemens’ efforts,” Stell said. “We are proud of him.”

This isn’t the first time Clemens has been recognized by his superiors for saving a life.

Three years ago, Clemens and detective Jay Janek were recognized for saving a suicidal woman’s life.

Clemens comes from a family of police officers. His father, Thomas Clemens Sr., and uncle, Dave Clemens, also worked for the Ashtabula Police Department.