A modern-day urban “bounty hunter” briefly abandoned his pursuit of bad guys, straddled a stricken man on the ground near a busy north Minneapolis intersection and pumped on his chest with both hands as others stood by.
The quick action kept the unresponsive man breathing long enough for ambulance personnel to whisk him away to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where a spokeswoman said Thursday afternoon that he’s out of danger.
Stew Peters, with his ever-present body camera recording every moment near the corner of West Broadway and Lyndale, said he “got tunnel vision and just focused on saving the guy’s life” as others hollered to rob the ailing man or gave Peters encouragement.
The day was much like any other on the job for Peters, a lead investigator for a Minneapolis firm that contracts with bond companies looking for fugitives who have violated terms of their bail.
Peters said that as he was putting up “Wanted” posters near a gas station for a particular fugitive, “I saw a guy reaching into the pockets of what appeared to be this lifeless guy. He was robbing him, and he [appeared] to be dead.”
Peters said he raced over and saw “the guy was completely unresponsive. This guy is not even breathing, and he has a faint pulse.”
He called police dispatch and was then switched over to North Memorial personnel who walked him through what to do until the ambulance arrived.
“I was instructed on chest compression, two per second; I was counting out loud,” Peters said. “He started breathing and then started snoring.”
Ambulance personnel hoisted the man off the ground, onto a stretcher and into the ambulance. Peters told one of the responders that someone who knew the 44-year-old man said the victim had collapsed after taking heroin.
Peters has been in the bounty-hunting business for 14 years, focusing on cases in the Twin Cities involving crimes against people and gun and drug offenses.
Reflecting on his profession and where it takes him, the 36-year-old Peters was a bit surprised but “grateful this was the first time” he’s been confronted with such a life-or-death drama.
“I’m no hero,” he said. “I hope the man finds the help he needs.”