High school coach credited for saving life of stranger - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

High school coach credited for saving life of stranger

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McIntosh High football coach Lee Belknap is credited for saving a stranger's life at a restaurant. McIntosh High football coach Lee Belknap is credited for saving a stranger's life at a restaurant.
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. -

A metro area football coach is being hailed as a hero for saving a man's life inside a restaurant. McIntosh High coach Lee Belknap stepped into action when a man seated at a nearby table started choking.

The incident happened a few days before Christmas at the Italian Oven restaurant in Peachtree City. Belknap, 38, and his wife were enjoying lunch when they saw a stranger begin choking.

"The gentleman just stood up and got our attention and he of course had a look of panic on his face and we knew that he was in trouble," said Belknap. "We used the Heimlich maneuver; we knew that he was choking. It took a couple times to remove the food, but we were successful and he was OK. I was more scared than he was, but it worked out good. "

The man repaid the coach by buying his lunch. The folks at the restaurant consider the coach a hero.

"Well, I don't guess I really look at it that way. He was in need of some help -- no different than somebody that needs help changing a flat tire on the side of the interstate and I just glad that we were able to help him out," said Belknap.

Belknap said that he first started performing the Heimlich maneuver in 1999 when he began teaching health classes.

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