11 St. Paul cops honored for lifesaving actions – here's what they did

Publish date:


Heroic actions of St. Paul police officers were recognized at the department's Lifesaving Awards.

Eleven officers were honored by St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith at a ceremony Wednesday – with one of them, Officer Michael DeTomaso, being awarded twice for his work in separate incidents.

The awards were given for acts that included saving the life of a woman suspected of overdosing, saving people from a burning building, and talking a possible jumper down from a bridge.


Here's a look at the awarded officers and why they were honored:

Sergeant James LaBarre responded to a call of a young woman suspected of overdosing and, despite what was described as a "chaotic scene," carried out chest compressions while waiting for medics to arrive. The victim, whose lips were blue, began to breathe and later recovered in the hospital.

Officers Charles Ankney and Jeffrey Boyle acted quickly when they came across a home engulfed in flames. They broken open a window to help a woman and her 6-month-old daughter escape.

Sergeant Don Benner and Officers Michael DeTomaso, Daniel Gleason, Timothy Hale and Stephen Lentsch all responded to a jumper on the High Bridge. Benner, Hale and Lentsch were the ones who spoke with the man, trying to convince him not to jump for over two hours. The man eventually said "goodbye" and leaned over as if to jump, at which point Benner, DeTomaso and Gleason grabbed onto him to prevent him from falling.

Officer Matthew Brodin found an assault victim lying on the floor with a stab wound to the neck and a towel wrapped around it. Brodin applied direct pressure to the wound while waiting for medics, who stated the victim would have died from blood loss had he not done this.

Officer Nicole Obrestad was working off-duty at Catholic Charities when she was told of a man down on the sidewalk outside the Dorothy Day Center in downtown St. Paul. She began CPR and was assisted soon after by Officers Michael DeTomaso and Edward Dion who helped with CPR until medics arrived.

"The officers' quick actions, calm demeanor and exemplary teamwork contributed to saving this man's life," the police department said.

Next Up