West Fargo police officer who suffered heart attack on duty transferred to Nebraska Medical Center
Police Officer Tim Brown, 29, remains on a ventilator and heart bypass machine and is in critical condition. He has been exhibiting positive signs since arriving at Nebraska Medical Center, including opening his eyes, but there is still the potential for setbacks
WEST FARGO — West Fargo Police Officer Tim Brown, who suffered a heart attack while booking two women into the Cass County Jail, was flown to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and remains in critical condition.
City Communications Director Melissa Richard said in a statement Monday, Nov. 1, that Brown was stabilized at a local hospital after suffering a heart attack on the morning of Oct. 31.
"Upon further evaluation, Officer Brown was transferred by medical flight to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha Sunday afternoon to receive specialized care," Richard said. "His medical team states that Officer Brown remains on a ventilator and heart bypass machine and is in critical condition. He has been exhibiting positive signs since arriving at Nebraska Medical Center, including opening his eyes, but they report there is still the potential for setbacks."
By Monday night, West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness said since arriving in Nebraska the improvements have been "nothing short of a miracle."
"He's opened his eyes, he's wiggling his toes," Otterness said. "He's currently on a heart bypass machine. It's operating as his heart but the hope is at some point, the damage that was done to his own heart will heal and it'll be able to function on its own."
A GoFundMe set up by the West Fargo Police Association to raise funds for Brown and his family has raised more than $13,000 as of Monday. The fundraiser, which has a goal of $50,000 can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/financial-support-of-officer-tim-brown .
Donations can also be made at Bell Bank to the West Fargo Police Association account in support of Officer Tim Brown.
Newsweek named the Nebraska Medical Center one of the top 50 hospitals in the U.S. in 2021. The hospital boasts a comprehensive vascular and heart health program on its website as one of the best in the country in partnership with the University of Nebraska.
Brown, 29, is a relatively new hire at West Fargo, starting his post on Jan. 18. He was sworn in on Oct. 18.
He had worked for the Memphis Police Department since 2017 after serving in the U.S. Army for four years as an active-duty combat medic. Otterness said Brown moved to West Fargo after family moved to this region including his father, who serves as pastor.
After the incident Sunday morning, West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness and Cass County Sheriff Jessie Jahner held a press conference outside the jail. Jahner said Brown arrived at the jail around 12:50 a.m. Sunday with the two women, "and while doing intake paperwork he collapsed onto the booking room floor."
Life-saving measures that included CPR and a defibrillator were conducted, and Brown was taken to the hospital.
“This is certainly a tragic event, and there is still a chance for Officer Brown to pull through this,” Otterness said.
Brown was attempting to serve warrants for a violent assault that occurred in Fargo on Oct. 18, after the department received a tip about the locations of Shalonda Profit, 25, with no listed address, and Brittany Hatcher, 29, who lived in the 1400 block of 16 St. E., West Fargo, Otterness said.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into the incident, as is normal, Otterness said, adding he was unsure if any contact with drugs may have occurred during the incident.
“At this time, there will be additional things that will come forth medically,” Otterness said. “There is no additional information that anything else was involved.”
This is the second West Fargo Police Officer to suffer a major heart attack in 2021. In May, 40-year-old Lt. Adam Gustafson suffered a major heart attack at the West Fargo Police Department and later died at a local hospital.
"We just ask for your prayers for him and all of our staff as this is the second traumatic event they've suffered in months," Otterness said.