TOPANGA CANYON—Several officers from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) assisted in saving the life of 1980s rapper Kurtis Walker aka ‘Kurtis Blow’, on October 29. Officers performed CPR for 5 minutes on Walker, who collapsed close to a bus stop near Topanga Mall at around 9 p.m.
According to the LAPD Blog, paramedics arrived on the scene and provided first aid before the victim was taken to West Hills Hospital for treatment; as of Tuesday, November 15, Walker is still at the hospital receiving treatment.
Walker, an 80s rapper, is best known for such songs as “8 Million Stories”, “If I Ruled the World” and “Basketball.” The Harlem native began his career as a DJ under the name Kool DJ Hurt.
“I died and these officers saved my life,” Walker said in a statement from his hospital bed. “The police saved my life, a black man. In this day and age, people need to hear that!”
The incident occurred after a mall security guard spotted a young man yelling at an older individual at the bus stop. The initial 911 call was thought to be a robbery, according to reports. Officers Peter Parra and Felix Rodriguez arrived on the scene and discovered that no crime had taken place, but an argument had occurred between a 57-year-old man (Walker) and his 20-year-old son. Officer Chis Vege and his partner Calvin Hill, Jr. arrived on the scene to provide assistance.
“As soon as we walked up to the group, the older man just collapsed,” Officer Vege said in a statement. “We didn’t think about it; we just acted. I swept his airway for obstructions, and Officer Hill started chest compressions.”
After several minutes of performing CPR, Walker gasped for air and officers rolled him on his side. “At that point, Walker stopped breathing again,” Officer Hill said. “So we rolled him back and I started compressions again, until paramedics arrived. I know the paramedics came quickly, but it seemed like a really long time when you’re pressing on a man’s chest, hoping he won’t die.”
The officers have not met Mr. Walker since the ordeal, but the rapper is hoping to meet the officers after he exits the hospital. “The police are angels, and they are here to help us,” Walker told Sgt. Stephan Bell, who is writing the Life Saving Award commendation for the officers.
“They got there so fast. If they got there any later, I would have died. I want to thank the officers from the bottom of my heart, no pun intended,” Walker said.
“We didn’t think too much about what we had done, but we were curious to see how the man was doing,” said Officer Vege, who is assigned to the Topanga Area Gang Unit. “So we drove to the hospital later that night, and several people made a big deal about us saving the man’s life. We were happy for him and his family that he pulled through.”
A reunion is expected between Walker and the officers in the near future after his release from the hospital.