Eighty-four-year-old Gavin Falconer got pulled over for a routine traffic stop in Kennebunk, Maine on Saturday evening. But what began as Falconer receiving a written warning for speeding ended with him slumped over the steering wheel without a pulse.
Police say Officer Michael Harrington transitioned from issuing a standard warning to administering CPR on the side of road in nearly the blink of an eye. Falconer recalled what his wife saw from the passenger seat. “He came running back, saw me there, yanked me out of the car, ripped my beautiful pink shirt, but that’s alright … it was old anyway. And I guess I was gone, no pulse, nothing.”
A second officer arrived on the scene with a defibrillator to shock Falconer’s heart back into action. The Maine native says he doesn’t recall much of anything after handing his license over to Harrington, except some of the attack’s initial pain. “I feel like I was the guy getting beaten up,” he said, referring to the barroom brawls that have become hallmarks of old Westerns.
Harrington, for his part, said the whole ordeal threw a wrench into his idea of a “routine traffic stop.” “Day after day, you stop cars,” he said. “They do become fairly routine, so when you think you’re just going to give a guy a warning and next thing you know you’re doing chest compressions in the middle of rush hour traffic, it’s a little overwhelming.”