Like a scene out of a TV drama, a dangerous criminal suspect who had just been released from a hospital emergency room managed to slip out of his handcuffs and wriggle free from the police officer who was holding him. Would he reach for the officer’s gun? Or, would he escape into the nearby residential neighborhood?
Thankfully, two Emergency Department staff members at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital acted quickly and bravely to regain control of the man and diffuse the frightening situation. ED Tech Pedro Aguilar and Nurse Ann Timmerman were honored at a recent informal commendation ceremony held in their department, with a brief presentation by SNLH CEO Lesley Ogden, MD, and SNLH COO Virginia Riffle, RN.
Dr. Ogden presented each with a challenge coin from the Lincoln City Police Department (LCPD) and read from a commendation letter written by Lt. David Broderick, as follows:
“On 6/30/21, Senior Officer Hayden Tolzman was at the North Lincoln Hospital with a custody for jail clearance. The suspect had just been arrested for burglary and attempted kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl and we believed he was high on meth. As Officer Tolzman was walking the suspect back to his patrol vehicle in the parking lot, the suspect was able to slip one handcuff and then to try to fight and/or escape. As Officer Tolzman was grappling with the suspect, ER Staff member Pedro Aguilar immediately came to assist him and was able to bring the suspect to the ground. The suspect continued to struggle with them and try to get away. Another ER Staff member, Ann Timmerman, then came over and helped them control the suspect’s body movements. With their assistance, Officer Tolzman was able to re-handcuff the suspect and get him inside the patrol vehicle. If not for their quick actions, Officer Tolzman believed either the suspect and/or himself could have been seriously injured. The ER staff had no obligation to help, but did so anyway.
“Due to their dedication and willingness to assist Senior Officer Tolzman, they did go above and beyond their duties. Pedro Aguilar and Ann Timmerman’s actions are to be commended, and their bravery in assisting Officer Tolzman in the line of duty is to be recognized. Pedro Aguilar and Ann Timmerman are assets to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital and the citizens of Lincoln City.
“On behalf of the Lincoln City Police Department and the Chief of Police, please present these challenge coins to them with our sincerest appreciation and regard.”
Although hospital staff members are not normally encouraged to intervene in volatile situations, this instance was different because not only was a police officer nearby, he needed assistance to keep a bad situation from becoming worse, Dr. Ogden said.
What Is a Challenge Coin?
According to the LCPD, challenge coins traditionally are passed from person to person through a handshake and often only the giver and the receiver know that a coin has been awarded. For decades, challenge coins have been used as a sign of unity for those who serve in the military to protect our country and in recent years even the presidents of the United States have been known to award challenge coins to those who serve our country. Police challenge coins tell a story, not only about the organization but also about the person who receives it.