Miami Beach waiter saves customer choking on meal

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A waiter at a Miami Beach restaurant went above and beyond for one of his regulars, and it’s not the first time he’s come to a diner’s aid.

That customer, Joseph, did not want to show his face on camera, but he told 7News crews he is alive today because of that Café at Books and Books waiter.

The server, Alvyn Lopez, said he sees Joseph every day, twice a day at the Lincoln Road location. He orders a variation of soups, salads and sandwiches, but on Thursday, while eating, he began to choke.

Lopez then jumped into action, performing the Heimlich maneuver.

“The next thing I know, he’s holding his throat like he can’t breathe, and out of nowhere, Alvyn shows up,” said Books and Books general manager Layne Harris. “I don’t know where Alvyn went.”

Joseph was choking on a piece of chicken, but Lopez didn’t think twice about saving him. “You could see he couldn’t breathe,” Lopez said. “First I pat him on the back thinking it was gonna be OK, but that didn’t work. Heimlich, in two seconds, it was over.”

Harris said the ending of this story would have been much different if Lopez wasn’t there. “It was absolutely incredible, him saving a life in front of us,” she said.

Lopez has worked at that location for nine years, and Harris wasn’t surprised that he wanted to help. “He’s definitely a hero,” she said, “absolutely.”

But Lopez is humble about the whole situation. “A hero is like a movie star or something,” he said. “I’m just a regular guy.”

Harris told 7News this isn’t the first time Lopez sprang into action to help a customer in need, because that’s the kind of person he is.

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