Delivering babies, saving lives in Washington County

  • Updated: April 19, 2013 - 10:41 PM

Deputies and citizens cited for extraordinary efforts in fighting crime and helping others.

Deputies and other staff at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office recently nominated several of their peers for recognition during a ceremony at the Historic Courthouse in Stillwater.

“There’s great work done at the sheriff’s office daily,” said Sheriff Bill Hutton, who presented the awards. Those recognized were:

Letter of excellence

Deputy Nick Sullivan: On July 3, 2012, Sullivan responded to a 911 medical call of a woman in labor. She was in a vehicle at a gas station at Interstate 94 and Manning Avenue, where Sullivan helped deliver the baby in the car. The umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and the baby was turning blue. The baby’s grandmother arrived and assisted Sullivan in freeing the baby, who “came around” and started to cry.

Deputy Dan Harjes: A truck driver was last seen in Colorado on Nov. 2, 2010, but didn’t arrive in Indiana as scheduled on Nov. 4. Harjes worked with the company to establish routes and then used the driver’s cellphone information to track his location. Harjes contacted several agencies to begin a search. The driver was found in severe medical distress in Colorado. “Without your efforts he would have surely died,” Sheriff Bill Hutton said.

Deputy Joe Zerwas (two awards): On Aug, 24, 2010, Zerwas took a burglary call in Hugo where a large-screen TV and hundreds of video games were stolen. He investigated and found the home of a potential suspect. Zerwas gained consent to look into a garage and found the stolen TV. A search warrant then was drafted and most of the stolen items were recovered.

On Jan. 26, 2011, about $7,400 worth of saddles and bridles was stolen from a stables in Hugo. On Feb. 1, 2011, while attempting to serve a warrant in Stacy, Zerwas observed a Western saddle in plain view in a bedroom of a residence. The saddle matched the description of one of the stolen saddles. Zerwas researched online and verified the saddle was the one that had been stolen. A search warrant was obtained and an arrest was made. This led to a second warrant and recovery of several more saddles. Several thefts were solved.

Deputy Danelle Erickson: In May 2010, Erickson learned of a situation at Lakeland Elementary School where a student was acting assaultive and intimidating other students to the point that they did not want to attend school. She volunteered to give a presentation on bullying to 50 students and teachers. No further complaints came from the school.

Deputy Nick Loperfido: On June 1, 2011, Loperfido received a call for a burglary in Lake Elmo. After clearing the scene, he continued to work the case. He found a suspect, recovered the stolen property and made an arrest.

Jail Correctional Officer Michael Brant: He worked 12 years with no sick days.

Life saving award

• Deputy Terry Hyde and Deputy Joe Stoehr: On May 3, 2009, deputies were called to a reported suicide. They found a woman in a bathtub, unconscious, not breathing, and bleeding from self-inflicted wounds. A neighbor assisted in pulling her from the tub and the deputies began CPR and applied a shock from an AED. The woman regained consciousness before medics arrived.

• Deputy Andy Loehr and Deputy Brian Krook: On Dec. 25, 2012, deputies responded to a medical call in Lake Elmo. The patient was unconscious, not breathing and CPR was in progress. They arrived and began chest compressions. A shock was given with an AED. Medics arrived and took over care. The patient was admitted to the hospital.

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