One Tuesday in March 2017, a cashier was working his morning shift at the McDonald’s restaurant on 113th Avenue in Doral, South Florida. It looked like a typical workday till an off-duty Miami-Dade policewoman pulled up at the drive-thru window to collect her order.
Initially, the worker, Pedro Viloria, 22, didn’t sense anything odd about the off-duty police officer.
“One moment—let me give you your food,” he told the officer, according to InsideEdition.
But when he turned around to pass her the food, he noticed she was in trouble.
“I see she’s like inflating her neck, like trying to breathe, like ‘ahh,’ and basically I thought something was going wrong,” Viloria told WPLG.
And the terrified kids—a boy and a girl, seated in the back of the SUV—began screaming. “Mother, stop it. Mother, what are you doing?” they shouted.
Suddenly, the officer fell unconscious. Her foot slipped away from the brake, and the SUV started rolling forward.
Worried that the car might crash into something, Pedro immediately jumped out of the drive-thru window.
He chased after the SUV, wanting to put himself in front of the vehicle.
The SUV nearly crashed into another car, but fortunately, the car stopped when it hit a curb.
He told the kids to call 911, and quickly ran inside the restaurant asking for help.
Little did he know help was already there.
One of the customers, who was a paramedic, got out of her car to rescue the officer.
And another customer—an off-duty Miami-Dade Fire Rescue member—happened to walk into the restaurant at that moment. Upon learning of the critical situation, he got down to work with his partner right away.
When first responders arrived, they performed CPR on the officer, and revived her using an automated external defibrillator machine.
“I was with the kids—I was trying to tell them it will be all right,” Viloria told NBC Miami.
“I thought if these kids lose their mother today, that’s gonna be tragic,” Viloria said, as reported by 7 News Miami. “It is what a hero does, if I would’ve need to die to save that woman, I would’ve done it.”
The officer, in critical condition, was rushed to Kendall Regional Hospital, WSVN reported.
Miami-Dade Police Department didn’t reveal what condition the officer was suffering from, but it was known she later made a full recovery.
Why did Viloria rush to save the officer—a complete stranger? “My brain was on hero mode!” he said.
“If it would have taken two or three minutes longer, it could have been worse for her,” he added. “We need to remember that we are all heroes.”