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Newark Second Grader Steps Up And Saves Choking Friend's Life

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A second grader was hailed as a hero on Friday, after he saved the life of a classmate who was choking on a pretzel.

William Ruhno, a student at The Ann Street School in Newark, used the Heimlich maneuver to save his friend, Derek Almeida.

"I feel glad because I saved him," Ruhno told CBS 2's John Slattery.

Derek was eating pretzels on the playground when he started to choke.

"I ate one and it went perfectly fine into my stomach, but the other one, the other pretzel got stuck in my throat," Derek said.

William noticed something was wrong and took action.

"I put my arms around him, did a fist and pulled," Ruhno said.

William said he learned the maneuver from watching Sesame Street, and his parents were swelling with pride.

"I'm overwhelmed. I couldn't believe he would do this," said his mother, Debbie.

Derek said he is grateful that his friend was there to save him.

"Well, I really appreciate that William is a very good friend, and is always at my side," he said.

Side by side, the two friends will always share a bond.

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