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Oregon's Mark Asper saves choking man at Lawry's 'Beef Bowl' [Video]

December 28, 2011 |  9:47 pm

Oregon tackle Mark Asper performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who was choking on a piece of meat Wednesday evening at Lawry's during the Beef Bowl.

Asper was eating dinner with his teammates during the annual event preceding the Rose Bowl game when, he said, "the table in front of us started stirring in commotion, and they stood up and the gentleman, I didn't catch his name, was giving the universal 'Help me, I'm choking' signal."

In an interview Wednesday with the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, Asper said that one of the restaurant's chefs initially attempted to do the Heimlich on the victim, who was later identified as Paul Diamond, a father of an Oregon student. The chef, however, was not successful.

"He looked like he was struggling with it," Asper said, "so I stood up and patted him on the back and said, 'If you don't know what you're doing, I do, because I'm an Eagle Scout.

"So I ripped in there and the first heave was a test heave because the guy seemed a little old, I didn't want to break his ribs or anything. Test heave, then he seemed like he could handle a full force heave so I popped it out.

Asper said "a big piece of Lawry's beef" came out of Diamond's mouth.  Asper added Diamond was fine -- he just took "smaller bites" after the incident and even went on to make a joke.

"He came up to me afterward and said, 'Hey man, thanks a lot, but you broke my sunglasses,' " Asper said. "I said, 'I'm sorry, I'll see if I can get you a new pair.' "

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-- Melissa Rohlin

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