Man saves deputy from choking at Lakeland restaurant

Ian Walcott recognized with Sheriff's Commendation

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LAKELAND, Fla. - A 34-year-old man was recognized with a Sheriff's Commendation on Monday after he saved a Polk County deputy from choking.

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd presented Ian Walcott with an award in connection with the October 28, 2012, incident, which saved the life of Deputy Sheriff Dan Hughes.

Hughes was on break at the Golden Corral Restaurant in north Lakeland when a piece of food became lodged in his throat.  Realizing the food was blocking his airway, he stood up and began walking toward a sink, according to deputies.

After walking a short distance, Hughes began to feel disoriented and began leaning on a wall to steady himself. Walcott, a patron of the restaurant, asked the deputy if he was choking. Walcott began performing the Heimlich maneuver and was able to dislodge the food.

"Mr. Walcott's immediate action and willingness to assist a person in need saved Deputy Hughes' life," the commendation reads. "Although Mr. Walcott did not want to receive credit for his life-saving efforts, his efforts to render aid are commendable."

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