Murray was having lunch with friends at The Lost Leaf in downtown Phoenix when a man three tables away began to choke on his food.
“I saw this young man choking, so I did what anyone else would have done; I went over and helped him out,” Murray told local news station ABC 15. “Believe it or not, I learned the Heimlich maneuver while working on the movie Groundhog Day. I’m just glad I was finally able to get some good use out of it.”
36-year-old Phoenix resident, Paul Horner, told reporters what happened at the restaurant.
“I guess I just took too much of a bite because suddenly I couldn’t breath. Anyway the next thing I know, none other than Bill Murray has his arms wrapped around me and is giving me the Heimlich maneuver,” Horner says. “It was an amazing experience and he is such a good person. I volunteered to pay for his lunch, but he wouldn’t let me. He did say I could buy him a drink though, so that’s what I did. Bill Murray is a living legend, a hero and today he saved my life.”
Tom Downey who is a waiter at The Lost Leaf told reporters about the day’s excitement.
“This man started choking and without hesitation, Bill frickin’ Murray gets up from his table, goes over to where this gentleman is at and immediately starts giving him the Heimlich. While everyone else in the restaurant was wondering what to do, Bill Murray stepped up and saved the day,” Downey said. “It was great to meet Mr. Murray, what a cool guy. Also since The Lost Leaf has a huge comedy thing going on next Thursday called The Mystery Show and Bill told us he will be coming back to perform. I don’t know if any of that is true, but either way, this has been the best day ever.”
Before leaving, with paramedics still on the scene, Murray spoke briefly to reporters. “The people at The Lost Leaf have been so nice to me and my guests. I told them I would come back for their Mystery Show this Thursday, to tell some stories and maybe even do a few jokes for the crowd. It’s going to be a free show, so if you’re not doing anything that night, stop by if you’re in the area. It will be good, clean fun for the whole family.”
The Lost Leaf is located at 914 North 5th Street, Phoenix, Arizona.
VIDEO: Bill Murray Saves Choking Man At Lunch By Performing The Heimlich Maneuver