Naperville officer praised for lifesaving hustle

  • Ana Sanchez of Naperville thanks police officer Matthew Minuth for saving the life of her 9-year-old son, Isac Marin, when he was playing with a plastic zip tie and it got stuck around his neck.

    Ana Sanchez of Naperville thanks police officer Matthew Minuth for saving the life of her 9-year-old son, Isac Marin, when he was playing with a plastic zip tie and it got stuck around his neck. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

  • Naperville police officer Michael Minuth accepts the police department's Lifesaving Award on Monday for rescuing 9-year-old Isac Marin when he had a large plastic zip tie stuck around his neck and was beginning to turn blue.

    Naperville police officer Michael Minuth accepts the police department's Lifesaving Award on Monday for rescuing 9-year-old Isac Marin when he had a large plastic zip tie stuck around his neck and was beginning to turn blue. Marie Wilson | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 12/6/2016 5:53 AM

Officer Matthew Minuth ran up to the boy's apartment, multitool device in hand, trying to get there in time.

The boy was turning blue.

 

The large, plastic zip tie around his neck wouldn't budge. He and his siblings thought it was a toy, that they were playing a game. His mother had only looked away for a moment. He was 9 years old and gasping for breath.

Minuth dashed into the room, sliced the plastic with a cutting pliers and watched as Isac Marin of Naperville gulped in fresh, new breaths.

Forty-five days later Isac was smiling, breathing easy as could be, as he stood under Minuth's arm Monday during a Naperville City Council meeting. Minuth was smiling and breathing easy, too, as he received the police department's Lifesaving Award from Chief Robert Marshall for his actions to prevent Isac's death.

Marshall said Minuth's response at about 1 p.m. Oct. 22 was outstanding and that Isac remains in good health -- not to mention alive -- thanks to the awarded officer. He praised Minuth, a relative newcomer with three years on the force, for calmly and quickly answering a plea for help from Isac's mother, Ana Sanchez.

"I saw him getting out of the car, running and looking for something to cut the zip tie. I really appreciate that," she said about Minuth, the first responder on the scene. "We're not going to forget that. Thank you very much."

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Marshall said Minuth's investigation determined that Isac and his brothers were playing with the zip tie, thinking it was possibly a necklace, when they put it around Isac's neck. As they tried to take it off, the tie got tighter. The boys were frightened, and the situation got dire fast. Thankfully, Marshall said, Minuth was patrolling nearby and pulled off a speedy response to the apartment on Inland Circle.

"He was within that house in two minutes and 20 seconds," Marshall said. "He was close."

City council member Rebecca Boyd-Obarski said she was chairwoman of the city's board of fire and police commissioners when the panel recommended hiring Minuth from a field of other candidates.

"He's a hustler," she said. "That's just his nature."

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