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 squad car dark - Unsplash

Man shot in both feet after interrupting vehicle break-in in St. Paul

The incident happened just before 10 p.m. Saturday.


Cook County — The cure for cabin fever

Come bask in the quiet of this peaceful winter getaway.

Screen Shot 2023-01-29 at 1.54.31 PM

Missing: Minnesota man last seen in Sioux Falls area

Aaron Pearson, 41, was reported missing on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.


Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.


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.

Screen Shot 2022-09-11 at 7.53.56 AM

Man shot in Twin Cities McDonald's parking lot

The man suffered non-life-threatening injuries in Brooklyn Park.