Off-Duty New Jersey Trooper Out to Lunch With His Son Saves Choking Man's Life

What to Know

  • An off-duty New Jersey State Police trooper went above and beyond the call of duty while out to lunch with his son at Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Trooper Dennis Palaia saw a man nearby choking and quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver to save the man's life
  • Other than a sore throat and aching ribs, the man who Trooper Palaia saved is expected to be OK, police say

A man is lucky to be alive and it’s all thanks to the quick thinking by an off-duty New Jersey State Police trooper who went above and beyond the call of duty.

A quiet visit Sunday at Buffalo Wild Wings in Rockaway Township turned into a life-saving trip after Trooper Dennis Palaia looked over to the table next to him and saw a man choking.

Trooper Palaia was out to lunch with his son, watching football when he noticed a man was in distress, New Jersey State Police said on their Facebook page.

Without any hesitation, Trooper Palaia quickly got out of his seat and rushed over to the man, who police say was showing signs that he couldn’t breathe and his skin color was changing. He realized the man was choking and Trooper Palaia immediately began performing the Heimlich maneuver.

Trooper Palaia gave the choking man several thrusts, which successfully cleared his airway, police said.

Video posted by police shows Trooper Palaia enjoying his lunch with his son when he turns around and notices the man choking. The video shows him get up and deliver five thrusts. The man appears to begin breathing again as Trooper Palaia helps him sit back down into his seat.

The man’s skin tone returned to its natural color, police said on Facebook. He then thanked Trooper Palaia for saving his life.

The man, with the exception of a sore throat and some aching ribs, was able to make a full recovery. Police said if it wasn’t for Trooper Palaia’s quick actions, the situation could have ended much worse.

Top Tri-State News Photos

Contact Us