Video: Travelers Rest officer credited with saving choking man during traffic stop


TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – A Travelers Rest officer recently performed the Heimlich maneuver on a man who police say was choking on a cigarette pack with marijuana inside it, “undoubtedly saving the man's life,” according to Chief Lance Crowe.

Crowe said Officer Jeremy Jones stopped a vehicle on Feb. 14, suspecting the driver to be under the influence. TRPD Officer Matt Nodine and an unnamed Greenville County deputy responded to assist with the traffic stop.

At the onset of the stop, Nodine made contact with the passenger, who appeared to be choking when he stepped out of the vehicle. Once the choking was confirmed, Nodine administered the Heimlich maneuver on the man, later identified as Jon Arnold Vanorsdale, of Landrum.

Left - Jon Vanorsdale; Right - Joshua Medlin (Photos courtesy of TRPD.)

According to officers, a cigarette pack was ejected from Vanorsdale's throat that allegedly contained marijuana he was attempting to conceal from officers.

During their search, officers said they also discovered Vanorsdale to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and 45 prescription pills that belonged to someone else.

A Greenville County EMS unit was called to the scene, but Vanorsdale later signed a waiver in which he refused transport.

Vanorsdale was charged for the pills on a warrant and for the paraphernalia and the marijuana on two uniform traffic citations, according to Crowe.

The driver of the car, Joshua David Medlin, was also ticketed for DUI, according to police reports.

This is the second similar situation in recent months for Officer Nodine, who last year received a Medal of Valor for his part in pulling a man from a burning vehicle in June 2014.