Two officers from LAPD’s Hollywood Division were supposed to have dinner with their fellow officers, but got so busy they grabbed a bite by themselves.
They were in the right place at the right time to save the life of a man who was choking on his food.
“I could hear the gasping of air,” officer Randal Kutscher told NBC4.
At the next table, Ivan Sandino was eating with a group of friends when he started choking.
“His eyes were popping out of his head and I knew right away he was suffering,” officer Tim Talman said.
“I couldn’t talk. I just went with my face like this: ‘Aghhhh….Help me!” Sandino said.
He couldn’t talk because he wasn’t breathing. That’s when Talman and Kutscher jumped out of their seats to help.
“He was able to grab him and start doing the Heimlich immediately,” Kutscher said.
The restaurant’s surveillance camera captured the rescue from beginning to end.
“It was just a flash, everything I’ve done, everything I could have done. Not even to say bye to my family,” Sandino said.
The rescue took several attempts as restaurant patrons watched in disbelief.
“I felt his body starting to get heavier on me. He was about to pass out,” Talman said.
And then finally, the Heimlich began to work.
“You could feel that obstruction leaving his airway,” Talman said.
The officers stayed with Sandino, even after an ambulance arrived.
What was supposed to be a simple meal turned into a life saving rescue.
“You never know what is going to come your way from minute to minute,” Kutscher said.
Sandino expressed his gratitude to the officers, who said they were glad to be in the right place at the right time.