New Jersey Diner Owner Saves Choking Customer With Heimlich Maneuver

Inside Edition

When Empire Diner owner Dervis Akturk noticed that a customer was choking, he sprang into action. "All I wanted to do was save his life," Akturk tells Inside Edition.

A New Jersey man is thankful to be alive today after choking on food at his favorite diner.

Joe Moore was enjoying chicken parmesan at Empire Diner when he bit off a little bit more than he could chew. 

Moore is seen in distress in surveillance video of the incident. Then, the owner, Dervis Akturk, noticed what was happening and sprang into action, performing the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned as a hospitality major in college.

Some of the patrons in the busy restaurant seemed oblivious to what was happening and continued eating.

But pretty soon, it was clear what was going on.

After multiple abdominal thrusts, the piece of chicken flew out of Moore’s mouth. A few more, and his airway was cleared.

“All I wanted to do was save his life. That's all I wanted to do. Thank God I was at the right place at the right time,” Akturk told Inside Edition.

Moore is already back eating at the diner, but for the meantime, he’ll be switching up his order.

Related Stories