Gonzalez's quick performance of the Heimlich maneuver on San Diego Charger fan Ken Hunter may have prevented a tragic ending to an Italian dinner last week, The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday.
Leaping up from a nearby table, Gonzalez was able to clear an obstruction from Hunter's throat.
"We were scared, definitely," said Diana Martin, a server at Capone's Italian Restaurante in Huntington Beach. "He (Hunter) was so thankful that Tony (Gonzalez) was behind him. We wouldn't have been able to help him the way Tony did."
Gonzalez downplayed the incident in a news release issued by his management group.
"I just did what my natural instincts told me to do: help someone in need," Gonzalez said. "I couldn't just sit there and do nothing."