Bartender saves man choking in Boston bar

BOSTON — A Boston bartender jumped into action and is being called a hero after a man started to choke.

While behind the bar at Silvertone Bar & Grill on Bromfield Street, Oscar Simoza saw a customer suddenly start to choke.

“At one point he’s grabbing his friend’s shoulder and he has like a face like he’s laughing, and then I realize his face turns red,” Simoza said.

Silvertone’s surveillance camera caught it all as Simoza jumped into action on Thursday night.

Simoza ran down the bar and out in front, right to the bar stool where the man was sitting. He immediately began the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the food from the man’s airway.

"Yeah I moved. I was surprised. I haven’t played rugby in a while so it’s pretty funny I can actually run this way still," he said.

His friend, Stephen Murray, was two seats away.

"And until the 270 pound man hops the bar, then you realize something is going on," Murray said.

Simoza performed the Heimlich maneuver on the man who’s choking on a steak tip.

“I was like I’m doing the Heimlich. I’ve never done this before,” Simoza said.

When asked how he learned the Heimlich, Simoza replied: “I learned it from watching Baywatch.”

That’s right: From watching Baywatch.

“We got there fast enough,” Simoza said.

The man was OK and customers gave him a big round of applause.

With Simoza, what you see is what you get: A big guy who is still fast on his feet and ready to help whether serving a drink or saving a life.

“He probably gave me the best tip. Like I say, the best tip ever given to me, ‘Thank you for saving my life,'" Simoza said of the customer he saved.