Kalamazoo Public Safety Officer Jason Gates is being hailed a hero after saving the life of a driver who was choking.
It all unfolded around 11:20 a.m. Saturday August 9, when Officer Gates pulled a woman over for a red light violation in the 4100 block of S. Burdick Street. As the officer approached the car, he found the driver in respiratory distress.
Dash cam video from the incident shows Officer Gates asking the woman if she was okay, and when he realizes she's in trouble, he administers a couple of back blows. When that doesn't work, you can see ,Gates quickly pull the woman from the car and administer the Heimlich maneuver.
Last Tuesday John Vescio stopped at a Mobil station to gas up his unmarked state police car.
"I was standing there at the pump and the only thing I remember hearing was a speeding car; somebody that was entering into the gas station at a higher rate of speed than normal," he said.
In the blink of an eye, Vescio went from off-duty cop to fast-acting hero.
Video from a security camera captured the incident as it unfolded.
A 69-year-old man apparently blacked out and slammed into the gas pump and the cars that were parked there.
As flames spread, others ran away, but Vescio ran toward the driver.
"You could see the way his legs were tucked under by the seat," Vescio said. "His seatbelt was on. He was pretty much helpless."
Vescio worked to free him and ultimately dragged him away by his wrists.
While others are calling him a hero, Vescio said, "I just feel like me."
He's since visited with the unidentified man, whom he saved. He said the man's family is grateful, knowing it could have ended a lot worse.
A video was recently released of a man on a Seattle metro bus fighting back against a gunman who was robbing everyone of their cell phones. Immersed in his own phone, it wasn't until the gunman flashed the weapon in his face that he jumped into action, taking the gun from his hands and tackling him to the floor.