A baby in cardiac arrest and a man in icy water: Two M State grads win Lifesaving Awards

June 25, 2024


Sgt. Scott Kostohryz, Officer Cuyler Johnson, M State Criminal Justice Program Coordinator Jeff Nelson and Officer Kyle Huewe.
Sgt. Scott Kostohryz, Officer Cuyler Johnson, M State Criminal Justice Program Coordinator Jeff Nelson and Officer Kyle Huewe. 

Two M State graduates and an M State professor are being heralded for their heroic work as Moorhead police officers. 

Officers Kyle Huewe and Cuyler Johnson, both graduates of M State’s Criminal Justice program, and Sgt. Scott Kostohryz, an M State Criminalistics professor, all received honors at a ceremony at the Moorhead Police Department on June 21. 

Huewe and Johnson won Lifesaving Awards from the department, while Kostohryz was recognized for his selection by the American Legion as Midwest Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year (2023-2024).

Saving a baby in cardiac arrest: Officer Huewe

Officer Kyle Huewe was not one of the originally assigned officers when a call came in on Nov. 9, 2023 about a medical emergency in a north Moorhead apartment. However, when he read the dispatch on his mobile computer, citing the young age of the victim and suspected cardiac arrest, he determined that he should respond. 

When Huewe arrived at the apartment, the mother of the victim directed him to a table, where he saw a small baby and confirmed that the baby was in cardiac arrest. He immediately began performing CPR, continuing until medical response units from the local fire department and EMS arrived to provide additional assistance. 

Throughout the approximately 17 minutes of life-saving medical measures that were administered, Huewe performed chest compressions, continuing until EMS confirmed the baby had regained a heartbeat on her own. 

Huewe’s initiative to self-dispatch and take immediate action directly resulted in the saving of the baby’s life.

Saving a man stuck in icy water: Officer Johnson

Shortly after 5 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2024, a man who was walking his dog under the Main Avenue Bridge in Moorhead heard a voice calling for help from somewhere out on the Red River. The man called the police and dispatch put out a call for a water rescue. 

Officer Cuyler Johnson answered the call. He arrived at the scene and saw the victim, a male, clinging to ice in the middle of the river. He initiated communication with the man to reassure him help was on the way.  

The victim told Johnson that the water was too deep for him to touch bottom and he was becoming fatigued from the river’s strong, icy current. 

Johnson, with the help of the person who had called the police, used a tree branch to pull the victim out of the frigid water and on top of the ice. He told the victim to remain flat to disperse his weight as evenly as possible, to avoid breaking through the ice again. 

The victim was hypothermic and in extreme distress. Medical assistance was provided by Sanford paramedics. Thanks to them and the caller, along with Johnson’s quick efforts, the victim survived a potentially deadly submersion in the icy waters of the Red River.

Sgt. Scott Kostohryz, American Legion Midwest Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year

Sgt. Scott Kostohryz, a patrol sergeant with the Moorhead Police Department, joined the department in 2004 and has served as a field training officer, SWAT team member and detective. He has been a Defensive Tactics Instructor, Taser Instructor and Mobile Field Force Instructor as well as a School Resource Officer Supervisor and Honor Guard member. 

He has received three Lifesaving Awards from the police department (in 2009, 2012 and 2013), two Minnesota DWI All-Star Awards (including a state Department of Public Safety Lifesaving Award for making five DWI arrests in a 24-hour period), a Minnesota Law Enforcement Explorer Association Advisor of the Year Award, and was selected for the Luther Ford Salute to Law Enforcement recognition. 

In 2023, Kostohryz was named Minnesota Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the American Legion. For his 2024 Midwest Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year recognition the Midwest is one of five regions in the U.S. he is now in contention for the national Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.

Best known for his work with youth and trust-building within the Moorhead community, Kostohryz has: 

  • Re-established Moorhead’s Police Explorer Post as a volunteer and coordinator. 
  • Led the formation of the Police Athletics and Activities League (PAL), which earned a Nonprofit of the Year Award from the Moorhead Human Rights Commission. PAL encompasses 12 annual programs designed to create positive interactions between police officers and kids, such as Bicycles for Kids, Shop with a Cop, CrossFit with Kids, Safe City Nights and others. 
  • Started the Every 15 Minutes pre-prom safe driving program.
  • Started the Fellowship of Christian Police Officers chapter.
  • Ran a marathon in full police uniform to bring attention to Line of Duty deaths.

Kostohryz is an adjunct professor with M State, teaching Criminalistics for the Criminal Justice program.