HUNTINGTON BEACH : Policeman on Break Aids Choking Diner
A police officer on a dinner break at a pancake house Saturday evening came to the rescue of an 83-year-old tourist who was choking on his meal.
Officer Guy Dove, a police officer for 11 years, was having dinner with three other officers at the International House of Pancakes on Beach Boulevard after 7 p.m. when a restaurant worker frantically told them a customer was choking.
“A waitress ran over and was hysterical,” Dove said Sunday. “She told us a man was choking and she couldn’t help him.”
The Connecticut man, Arthur Glidden, was on vacation visiting a friend, Dove said. Glidden’s dinner companion told police that he had been clearing his throat for about five minutes before he began to choke.
“It looked like it might have been a chicken bone,” Dove said.
The officers ran across the dining room to the man’s table and saw that he was unconscious, Dove said.
“He made a coughing sound, but his head was down,” Dove said. “He was real blue.”
Dove, 37, pulled the unconscious man out of the booth and began to apply the Heimlich maneuver.
“I did about four thrusts--I’m a pretty big guy,” the 250-pound officer said. “I was afraid I was going to hurt him, (but) he coughed and swallowed it back in his stomach and was OK.”
Karen Wolf, the restaurant’s night manager, said she ran to the officers after attempting to help Glidden.
“I hit him on the back three or four times and it didn’t work,” Wolf said. “I was very scared, but I knew the policemen were there . . . so I called for (them). What (Dove) did was really heroic.”
Dove said he had been taught the Heimlich maneuver in police training but had never used it on a choking victim before Saturday. “I was really worried that I was doing it wrong,” he said.
Glidden was treated at the scene by paramedics.