‘American Ninja Warrior’ contestant saves stranger from choking

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — He competed to be an “American Ninja Warrior,” but now Pavel Fesyuk is being called a hero after he stepped in to help a choking man.

Something got caught in William’s Harris’s throat at an intersection in Rochester.

He would eventually get out of his car in desperate need of air.

“I was there for several minutes, and several cars passed, and people walked, and just no one stopped,” Harris said.

But finally one man stopped and got out of his car to help.

“That’s a rare thing in this society, at least nowadays, I think it’s the exceptional person who will step out of the box and do whatever has to be done.”

The good Samaritan acted quickly, hitting Harris on the back as instructed and then taking matters into his own hands.

“He said, ‘Well let me try the Heimlich,’ which he did. He came across my chest here and lifted me up a couple of times and sort of fascinated me because I’m kind of a heavy guy. I applaud this young fella, and I’m sorry I didn’t get his name at the time.”

The man, Fesyuk, told WHAM he happened to be at the right place at the right time.

“We’re a Christian family, so we tend to do things for others or we’re supposed to — we do unto others. The Golden Rule,” he said.

Harris says he couldn’t ask for any more.

“I didn’t shake his hand because my hands were unclean from wiping my face. I gave him a little elbow bump and said thank you, and I would like to thank him again for trying to help me.”

Harris says he is planning to see a doctor in hopes of learning what caused him to choke.