BROOKSVILLE — A Hernando County sheriff's deputy with a hankering for soda likely saved the life of a man choking on Doritos chips early Friday.
The Sheriff's Office gave this account:
Deputies Vincent Mascitelli and Gregory Locke stopped at the Sunoco station at 765 S Broad St. in Brooksville to get a soda about 3 a.m.
As the deputies were leaving the store, they saw a woman near the gas pumps waving her hands and yelling for help.
Mascitelli rushed over and saw a man in his 20s holding his throat with both hands and turning pale.
Mascitelli performed the Heimlich maneuver on the man, and on the third thrust was able to clear the man's airway.
At a news conference Friday, Mascitelli described the obstruction as "almost like a half-a-fist size of balled-up Dorito."
Locke called for paramedics but the man, whose name was not released, recovered quickly and Locke canceled the call.
The incident isn't the first time Mascitelli has come to the rescue of someone.
He will receive an award soon for saving a woman who tried to commit suicide several weeks ago.
Mascitelli grabbed a gun from the woman and used a pillow to stop the bleeding from a gunshot wound to her chest. The woman survived.
"It's what we get into the job for," he said.