Pinellas deputy saves woman choking at Clearwater restaurant

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Deputy David Brenn.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Deputy David Brenn.

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies happened to be in the right place at the right time recently, and wound up saving people in life-threatening situations. For the second time this month, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy has saved the life of a person who was choking.

Deputy David Brenn and another deputy were finishing their meal break at about 12:55 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) in Clearwater.

Deputy Brenn noticed a woman wheezing at the table next to them. The victim, Brianna Torres, was in obvious distress and was actively attempting to dislodge something from her throat, according to a sheriff’s office spokesperson.

Deputy Brenn acted quickly and asked the woman if she was choking and she nodded her head to say “yes.” Deputy Brenn immediately radioed for assistance from paramedics and asked Torres if he could attempt the Heimlich maneuver, and she again nodded yes. On his third thrust Deputy Brenn successfully dislodged a piece of steak from Torres’ throat allowing her to breathe normally.

Paramedics responded and evaluated Torres who was uninjured.

Brenn’s quick response follows the live-saving action made by another Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

While out on patrol the evening of Sept. 1, deputy Matthew Davidson stopped to write a report in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven store located at 2789 SR 580 in Clearwater. A while later, a 7-Eleven clerk burst out of the store’s front doors and put his hands around his throat, indicating that he was choking.

Davidson performed the Heimlich maneuver on Rusty Green, 53, who had choked on a piece of chicken. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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