VIDEO: Firefighter saves man from choking in Haverstraw restaurant

Landscaping business owner Eloy Santos is seen approaching the front counter, signaling to staff that he is choking.

Ben Nandy

Feb 17, 2024, 2:07 AM

Updated 60 days ago

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The surveillance video of Tuesday's incident inside Hole Shot Bagels says it all.
Landscaping business owner Eloy Santos is seen approaching the front counter, signaling to staff that he is choking.
He can't breathe.
He can't talk.
An employee tries to help, but Santos is still choking.
Then Haverstraw firefighter Randy Tavarez notices the panic and intervenes.
Tavarez employs the Heimlich maneuver.
Five hard pumps and a piece of steak is dislodged.
"Thank you for saving my life," Santos told Tavarez Friday during an interview with News 12 at Hole Shot. "I was really scared. I thought I could have died."
"I usually grab my breakfast and go," Tavarez said, but on Tuesday he decided to dine in.
He was about to leave when he saw Santos needed help.
"I was pleased to respond to the call of duty," Tavarez said. "Someone needed you. I was just there. I happened to have finished my breakfast. I didn't think. I just did."
Hole Shot owner Clever Torres described panic in the front room of about 15 customers; Tavarez was calm though.
"To me, he is a real hero, because he didn't blink to help," Torres said. "He knew what to do, apparently knew whatever he was doing. He's a real hero."
"That day I just decided to sit down with my buddies, just hang out," Tavarez said, "and that day everything happened."
EMS crews evaluated Santos on scene.
Afterward, Santos went straight to work, as he originally planned.


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