Security guard receives citizens award

A Minneapolis Institute of Arts security guard who revived an unconscious woman was one of five people recognized in December with a civilian honor from the Minneapolis Police Department.

Todd Newman received the Citizens Commendation Award from Lt. Tony Diaz of the 5th Precinct at the Dec. 10 Whittier Alliance Community Issues Committee.

Newman, who has worked in the security guard position since 2000, was radioed about an unconscious woman on the floor of D’Amico restaurant. She was choking, the museum reported, and Newman’s actions helped to save her life.

“She was on the floor, pretty much unconscious,” Newman recalled. “I did an improvised maneuver. She wasn’t breathing, so I reached behind her and applied pressure on her stomach. She [still] wasn’t breathing.

“I kept trying and did that three times. She was then revived. Paramedics came and took her to make sure she was okay.” 

Newman couldn’t make the ceremony because of a snowstorm but is happy to have received the award.

“I’m just happy things went well,” he said. “As far as helping somebody out, it is our job.”

Newman said he wished he’d been able to make it to the meeting for his son’s sake.

“My 7-year-old, Teddy, and I, we were stuck in the snow for two hours,” he said. “Teddy really wanted to see the award, as he was pretty excited that his dad had saved someone’s life.”

The award ceremony was part of a Whittier Alliance meeting honoring residents who had been vigilant in thwarting a crime and helping police officers do their jobs, said Marian Biehn, executive director of the Whittier Alliance.

“The meeting began by us honoring these local heroes,” Biehn said. “What they did was great, and everyone cheered them on at the ceremony.”