Fargo civilians, police officers honored for saving lives

One young man fought off intruder, while officer honored for saving two lives in a year

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Family members and others packed Fargo City Hall on Wednesday night for an awards ceremony to honor officers, civilians and staff members for their work in 2020. Jessica Schindeldecker photo

FARGO — In a ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday, June 2, Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski and Mayor Tim Mahoney honored not only officers, but also civilians for helping save lives or risking their own lives in 2020.

Dylan McArthur, a 20-year-old Fargo man, was honored with the Civilian Citation for Distinguished Service for helping possibly save the life of a south Fargo woman and risking his own life after a man entered her apartment with a knife.

In the early morning hours of July 22, McArthur received a text from a friend who felt she was in danger. After first meeting outside her apartment, they went inside. McArthur heard her scream as soon as she entered.

He quickly came inside the apartment and was confronted by an intruder with dark clothes and a mask.

"About all I could see were his eyes," McArthur said in an interview after the ceremony.


He threw the intruder to the ground; he said he was much bigger than the other man. As the scuffle continued, McArthur was stabbed in the back, with the knife just missing his spine by a few inches.

While the intruder fled, McArthur and his friend drove quickly to the Essentia Health emergency room only four blocks away where he was stitched up and where they called police.

After an investigation, the intruder was never found, McArthur said.

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Dylan McCarther was presented the CVitizen Citation for Distinguished Service at the Fargo Police Department's Awards Ceremony at City Hall on Wedneseday night, June 2, 2021. McCarther was stabbed in gthe back as he fought off an intruder in a friend's apartment. Barry Amundson / The Forum

In giving McArthur the award, master of ceremonies Sgt. Mike Bernier said the young man "risked his own life" in helping his friend.

The other civilian award went to Dustin Quinn, a volunteer firefighter who performed CPR on an unconscious man who suffered an overdose last Sept. 7.

Among the 13 lifesaving awards given to police officers, one recipient stood out: Officer Abe Moilan received two of the awards.


Moilan, who has been with the department for almost three years, saved the life of a 3-month-old baby last June 23. A few months later in October, he was credited with helping save an older man who was found unconscious on his patio.

In the June incident, Moilan was met by an obviously distraught mother who was holding her baby who had an obstruction in her airway and wasn't breathing.

Using his emergency medical training, Moilan flipped the baby over and pounded on her back until the airway was cleared.

"I heard her crying, so I knew she was going to be OK," he said in an interview after the ceremony.

"His quick, decisive action saved the life of that child," Bernier said.

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Fargo Police Officer Abe Moilan was awarded two lifesaving honors for helping to save the lives of a baby and an older man in Fargo last year. He was presented the awards, along with other officers, at the police department's awards ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday night, June 2, 2021. Barry Amundson / The Forum

On Oct. 27, Moilan was called to a southwest Fargo home where a man was lying unresponsive on his patio. Moilan performed CPR on the man, who had no pulse for "several minutes," until paramedics arrived.


The man was taken to the hospital where he later recovered. However, there's more: Moilan took the upset wife to the hospital in his squad car so she could be with her ailing husband.

"She thought it was pretty cool riding in the squad car," Moilan said.

Other lifesaving awards were given to Sgt. Travis Moser and officers Christian Davis, Tyrell Fauske, Jordan Korte, Tina Hallada, Dean Jordheim, Emily Martin, Dillon Fahning, LachIan Vaira, Tyler Seehusen, Rob Essler and Craig Schlangen.

Top awards were given to Lt. Travis Stefonowicz as Supervisor of the Year for his work on helping start the department's police academy and other work, Detective Connie Nichtern as Officer of the Year for her work handling assault cases against children and Community Service Officer Kathy Spielman as Civilian of the Year for her work on helping keep officers safe during the pandemic with cleaning and other protective measures.

Zibolski said all of the award winners were nominated by their peers, with a selection committee making the final decisions.

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