Diner Owner Saves Choking Customer

The life-saving actions of a Massachusetts diner owner whose customer was unable to breathe was captured on camera.

"It was kind of terrifying but I had taken the CPR class and Heimlich class not too long ago," said Peter Zoummar, owner of the 33 All American Diner.

The video from Sunday morning shows the customer as he calmly gets up from his seat.

"He was just eating a piece of toast and I guess it just got stuck back there," Zoummar said.

"He started choking. He immediately went to the men's room to try to clear it himself, which is a huge mistake," Ashland Fire Lt. David Iarussi said.

"He walked out. The waitress saw him, I was in the kitchen cooking," said Zoummar. "She's like, 'Peter, Peter he's choking,' so I ran."

Zoummar said his Heimlich maneuver training from December kicked in.

"I got around him and just started doing the Heimlich and literally lifting him off the feet because he was kind of a big guy," said Zoummar.

As the Ashland Fire Department rushed to the diner from a couple miles away, Zoummar was able to dislodge the toast and save his customer's life.

"Every second is vital for a person that becomes unconscious and not breathing," Iarussi said.

"It's kind of like in the spur of the moment, you do what you have to do," said Zoummar. "I'm glad that I was here to do it."

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