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18-09 Clearwater Police Sergeant Saves Man From Choking At Restaurant

Post Date:01/30/2018 1:46 PM

Clearwater Police Sergeant Saves Man Who Was Choking At Restaurant

(Photo attached)

Clearwater Police Sgt. Corey Lenczden was in the right place at the right time this morning to help save a man who was choking.

Lenczden was waiting for his food shortly after 8 a.m. after having placed his order at the Chick-fil-A at the corner of Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Old Coachman Road.

That's when another customer who had been dining on a breakfast burrito approached him in distress. The man couldn't talk. The man couldn't breathe. He was choking.

Lenczden realized the man needed help and immediately put his training into action right there in the restaurant. He wrapped his arms around him and performed the Heimlich Maneuver. The first two times, nothing happened. The third time he did it, lifting the man off the floor, the chunk of food was dislodged and the man could breathe again.

"Everyone in the restaurant stopped what they were doing and started watching," Lenczden said. "You could have heard a pin drop."

The 62-year-old man, who did not want to be identified, said he saw Lenczden nearby when he began choking.

"I saw him standing there," he said. "I figured he would probably know what to do."

Lenczden is a towering frame of a police officer - 6 feet 3 inches tall and 260 pounds -- and that fact wasn't lost on the man: "He's a big guy. I didn't pick some little old lady to do it."

"It worked out," the sergeant said. "I'm glad for the guy."


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