A New York Police Department officer likely saved a man’s life by using a potato chip bag as a tourniquet to slow the bleeding from the victim’s stab wound.
Officer Rodney Kennedy responded to a stabbing in Harlem on July 7 and found a man hunched over on the sidewalk with a stab wound to the torso. The man told Kennedy that the suspect “caught him in his lung.”
Officer Kennedy told a bystander to get a bag of chips and tape from a nearby shop while he and others helped lay the wounded man on his back.
As seen in the body camera footage, the officer can be heard saying, “Go get me a bag of potato chips right now,” and telling the victim to “just relax.”
“We got you. We got you,” Kennedy told the injured man. “Stay with me.”
He then emptied the bag and taped it flat over the gaping wound to prevent the chest cavity from filling with air.
According to the acting physician at Harlem Hospital, Officer Kennedy’s ingenious medical treatment likely saved the man’s life.
When paramedics arrived, they replaced the bag with a more appropriate bandage. Kennedy told them, “It’s the best I could do with what I had.”
NBC News reported that Officer Kennedy learned the trick from the TV show MacGyver.
The 28-year-old victim was transported to NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem in critical condition. The victim remained in the hospital in critical but stable condition the day after.
On July 11, police arrested Eric Rodriguez, 38, in connection with the stabbing on charges of attempted murder, assault and criminal possession. He was later released according to New York City jails records. No reason was given.
Following the incident, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea posted on Twitter: “Above & beyond! NY’s #Finest at work…”