Sheriff lauds three men for heroic acts

Steven Volkman (left) and Anthony Bilder received awards from Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan for pulling a 16-year-old boy from South Lindstrom Lake Dec. 17 after he fell through the ice on a go-cart. Photo by Derrick Knutson

By Derrick Knutson—

A teen who could have sunk to his death in frigid waters and a Chisago County Sheriff’s Office deputy who ineffectively tased a man wearing only boxers during a wintertime roadside standoff are undoubtedly thankful some heroic citizens offered their aid Dec. 17.

Sheriff Rick Duncan commended three citizens at the Chisago County Board meeting Jan. 18 for their brave acts.

Anthony Bilder, of Forest Lake, and his cousin, Steven Volkman, an Oak Park Heights resident, were on South Lindstrom Lake near the Lindstrom Beach ice fishing about 5:30 p.m. that day when they heard someone shouting nearby. They quickly realized the person screaming for help had broken through the ice.

“We saw him earlier in the day, but it was dark when it happened, so we just heard him yelling,” Bilder said.

Volkman chimed in, “He was out probably 200 yards from the Highway 8 shore there. We were actually fishing across the lake from where he went in. We were probably 650 yards away from where we actually pulled him out of the lake.”

The teen had been zipping across the frozen lake in a go-cart when he hit an unstable patch of ice and plunged into the freezing water.

“We walked over there and when we got there we tied our jackets together and we threw the jackets to the kid,” Bilder said. “The kid was able to grab the jackets and hang on as we pulled him out.”

Other than a chill that probably took some time to overcome, the two men said the teen seemed all right.

The go-cart was later recovered by the Sheriff’s Office.

Bilder and Volkman estimated the teen had been in the water for about 15 minutes.

“The kid was a trooper,” Volkman said. “Fifteen minutes, that’s a long time.”

By the time the men reached the 16-year-old boy and began pulling him out of the water, emergency service personnel had already arrived on shore; someone had called 911 while Bilder and Volkman were rushing to save the young man.

“A million different things could have went a different way, but it just happened to work out the right way,” Bilder said.

Duncan handed the two men awards for their actions and praised them.

“Due to the quick actions of Anthony Bilder and Steven Volkman, they prevented what could have been a deadly situation,” he said.

Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan commended Harris resident Matthew Jabs for helping a deputy subdue an emotionally disturbed man along a roadside Dec. 17.

Harris man helps subdue stripped-down attacker 

On his way home from work about 11 hours before the ice rescue on South Lindstrom Lake, Harris resident Matthew Jabs witnessed a scene he probably didn’t expect to see: along the roadside a Sheriff’s deputy was struggling to subdue a man wearing only a pair of boxers. The temperature at the time of the incident was a chilly 15 degrees above zero.

A report from the Sheriff’s Office described the man as an “emotionally disturbed person.”

“The guy was running around the front of the car in boxers and jumping into the front seat of the squad car,” Jabs said.

The report stated the deputy used his Taser in an attempt to stop the man, but the devise had little effect.

During the scuffle with the man, he struck the deputy in the face, breaking his glasses.

Jabs, who has quite a bit of experience restraining people – he works as a corrections sergeant at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Rush City – exited his vehicle and offered the deputy his help.

“I heard (the deputy) pop his Taser and I was like, ‘“You want some assistance?’”

“He said, ‘Yeah’ so I went over and helped restrain (the nearly nude assailant).”

Jabs shrugged off the feat, saying the restraining wouldn’t have been that big of a deal at the correctional facility.

“At work it wouldn’t have even made for a notable day,” he said.

Duncan drew attention to Jabs’ quick thinking and willingness to get involved in a dangerous situation when giving him his award.

“Mr. Jabs offered his assistance and the individual was quickly subdued and taken into custody and then transported to the hospital,” Duncan said. “Thanks to Mr. Jabs, the person was subdued without injury to himself or the deputy.”

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