Merrillville, Ind. (WHAS11) - It was just a normal day at a Chick-fil-A in Merrillville, but that all changed in an instant.

Melanie Hasse says her daughter, Charlotte, started choking while they were eating lunch, and she didn't know what to do.

"I looked over, and she started gagging. I could see something kind of in the back of her throat. Mistakenly, (I) reached in to try to grab it out. I think that pushed it back into her throat," said Hasse.

Officer Richard Mayer was eating with a few colleagues when it happened. Before he knew it, Hasse picked up her child and ran to him for help.

"Our first reaction, we stood right up. I grabbed her, and Officer Ramos to my right flipped her over, we did back slaps on her and got (the) food dislodged from her throat right away," said Mayer.

Dislodging that tiny piece of apple from Charlotte's throat was Mayer's first act as a paid police officer.

If your baby is less than a year old, the typical Heimlich maneuver for kids and adults is not recommended. Doctors suggest you do just as Officer Mayer did.

Turn your toddler over and use the heel of one hand to give up to five hard slaps on your baby's back, between the baby's shoulder blades.

For more information on how to perform this maneuver, click here.