Skip to main content

A Twin Cities teenager is being hailed as a hero after jumping through a drive-thru window during her McDonald's shift to save a choking customer.

Sydney Raley was working at the Eden Prairie McDonald's Saturday when she noticed a customer in the drive-thru lane "coughing profusely," the city's police department said. Raley, 15, immediately jumped through the drive-thru window, then pulled the woman out of the car and performed the Heimlich maneuver, police said. 

Raley, needing more help, then called on a bystander to help get the dislodged food out of the woman's throat.

“We’re very proud of Sydney. She’s a great example of how all of us — no matter our age or position — can make a difference in our communities," said Eden prairie Sgt. Scott Mittelstadt in a statement.

When officers got to the scene, the choking woman's airway was clear, police said. Two officers each gave Raley $50 as part of the second Cops & Cash for the Holidays program, where officers can give community members $50 in cash "to brighten people’s holidays."

Raley's quick thinking is getting praise from other groups andindividuals:

 And the story, which was first chronicled by KARE 11, is getting picked up by news outlets across the country, including Newsweek and Fox Business.

The bystander who helped Raley left the scene before police could get there and has not been identified. 

Next Up

police lights

Woman in critical condition after attempted murder, authorities say

A 33-year-old woman is in custody and facing possible charges.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Charges: Driver threw 'large rocks' at police car during highway chase

Authorities say the suspect had used methamphetamine earlier in the day.

covid, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Friday, January 21

Hospitalizations dipped from 1,629 Jan. 19 to 1,571 on Jan. 20.

minneapolis police

Shooting near University of Minnesota kills 1, injures 2

The victims were all in a parked car when the shooting happened, police said.

canada bodies found 2

Florida man charged with human smuggling after 4 die, 5 rescued near border

A baby and an teenage boy were among those who were found dead feet from the U.S. border.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 8.42.40 AM

Man shot while driving on I-394 in St. Louis Park

The driver and his bullet-riddled SUV wound up outside the DoubleTree hotel in St. Louis Park.

Mall of America

Mall of America to celebrate 30 years with events, giveaways throughout 2022

The festivities will kick off Friday with a '90s-themed drag show.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 7.29.00 AM

Victim of 1994 Michigan cold case murder ID'd as missing Minnesotan

Shelley Rae Kephart went missing from Hennepin County more than 28 years ago.

Mike Zimmer

Coller: Did the Vikings wait too long to fire Zimmer, Spielman?

This wasn’t just ugly. This was ugly, ugly.

walz flanagan lorie shaull flickr

Gov. proposes 'Walz Checks' for most Minnesotans

The governor wants to use $700 million of the state's surplus to fund the payments.

Hutch crash booking photo

Walz, Flanagan call on Hennepin Co. sheriff to resign

"I would say that it is time for him to resign," the Lt. Gov. said.


Video: Teens scatter after man 'pulls a gun' at Eden Prairie McDonald's

The dispute between the teens and the man happened Monday night.


Burnsville PD: Customer sprayed chemical irritant at McDonald's workers

The incident happened in Burnsville over the weekend.

Charges: Twin Cities McDonald's manager raped employee, 14

The 24-year-old Maple Grove manager has been charged with 5 crimes.

Man charged with allegedly pulling gun on teens at Eden Prairie McDonald's

The moment was caught on video and went viral on Twitter.

McDonald's manager sentenced for raping teen employee

The former Maple Grove McDonald's manager pleaded guilty in November.

Man pleads guilty to pulling gun on teens at McDonald's

The incident was captured on video and shared to social media.