Ryan Herst, Buena Park Cop, Sacrifices Body to Save Toddler Running Alone on Busy Street

A Buena Park police officer received moderate injuries saving an unaccompanied toddler who he'd spotted running into a heavily traveled roadway, authorities said.

Officer Ryan Herst is expected to recover from the undisclosed injuries he sustained around 7:40 p.m. Tuesday in the 8200 block of Whitaker Street.


Herst had been driving in his patrol car when he spotted the child, who appeared to be age 2 or 3, running north across Whitaker Street as oncoming traffic approached, according to a Buena Park Police statement.

The cop quickly stopped his cruiser, got out, grabbed the child, shielded him with his body and then rolled onto the pavement away from the path of an oncoming vehicle, police said.

But in doing so, Herst's body hit the pavement hard. Arriving officers and Orange County Fire Authority personnel treated Herst before taking him to an area hospital, according to police.

The child, who was not injured, was reunited with his family, which is being investigated to determine how the boy wound up alone on the busy street.

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