Todd Covington was at Nationals Park on Wednesday, taking in an early evening game against the San Diego Padres when he sprung into action to save a life.
According to Washington’s 106.7 The Fan, whose reporter Grant Paulsen witnessed the incident, fans in Section 113 suddenly stopped watching the game and called for help because a man was choking. A man, later identified as Covington, a firefighter and nurse from Kansas City, hopped two rows to the choking fan to perform the Heimlich maneuver.
According to 106.7 The Fan, the maneuver was used for about 20 seconds in addition to banging on the choking fan’s back before the obstructing object was ejected. Fans in the section cheered and Covington got a big hug from the choking fan.
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“I was watching the baseball game, so I didn’t see anything that was going on,” Covington told 106.7 The Fan in an interview at the game after the incident.
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“At first, I tried a couple of back blows — I just bent him over and gave him a couple of back blows. A lot of times, as adults, we get so enthralled in what it is we’re doing, it’s just a quick aspiration or whatever.”
When, during the interview, it was suggested that he was a hero, Covington deflected and said, “We just chalk it up to another one for the good guys.”
It got better for Covington, who wore a Nationals shirt with images of the racing presidents: Washington defeated the Padres, 5-3, to improve to 21-28.
Washington brought in four runs in the second inning, including a pair on outfielder Alex Call’s two-run double. Starting pitcher Trevor Williams went 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs, while striking out five.
The Nationals will wrap up their three-game series against San Diego on Thursday late afternoon after splitting the first two games.