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West Fargo officer saves 5-year-old

A West Fargo police officer has received a letter of recognition from his department after saving a 5-year-old boy from strangulation Saturday. When Schmidt arrived, he found the child with a nylon zip tie around his neck, Reitan said. The boy wa...

A West Fargo police officer has received a letter of recognition from his department after saving a 5-year-old boy from strangulation Saturday.

When Schmidt arrived, he found the child with a nylon zip tie around his neck, Reitan said. The boy was beginning to turn blue, he said.

Five or six adults were on the scene and Schmidt later described them as frantic, Reitan said.

Someone located a pair of scissors and Schmidt cut the zip tie off the boy. As soon as the tie was removed he began to breathe normally, Reitan said; he was checked out by paramedics but did not require medical treatment.

Reitan said he did not know how the boy got the zip tie around his neck. He was unsure of its length but said it was of the type generally used to bundle wiring together.

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The problem is that such ties only go on one way and "any pulling on the tail of it is only going to cause it to tighten further," he said. "Cutting it off is the only remedy."

Reitan said that while he has seen people strangled in other ways, this is the first time he's seen it happen with a zip tie.

In addition to the letter of recognition, the West Fargo Police Department has nominated Schmidt for the North Dakota Peace Officers Association Lifesaving Award, Reitan said.

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