Minn. conservation officer arrests hunter, helps woman deliver baby on the way back to the station
“It’s a pretty unusual, pretty eventful series of events,” Officer Vinny Brown said. “Both of those situations don’t happen for a game warden, that is for sure”
By Bob Timmons
NORTHOME, Minn. — Already a traditionally active day, the deer opener last Saturday presented unexpected double-duty for a Minnesota conservation officer in northern Minnesota.
Conservation Officer (CO) Vinny Brown, stationed in the Northome field office, arrested a deer hunter who was prohibited from possessing a firearm, and while transporting the man to jail, he stopped to help aid a woman on a roadside who was in labor.
Brown reported he had contact with the unidentified hunter in 2022, and later learned he had a felony record. Under federal law, felons are barred from having a firearm. On Saturday, the CO caught up with the man between Blackduck and Alvwood, again sporting a firearm, and arrested him, he said.
Brown’s day took a dramatic turn from there. En route to the Itasca County jail in Grand Rapids and in accumulating snow, Brown was passed by a vehicle speeding and driving erratically. He alerted the county sheriff’s office, and a deputy stopped the vehicle on Hwy. 46 at the Gosh Dam Place, a bar, restaurant and motel, in Deer River.
The driver quickly alerted Deputy Derek Hanson to the source of her bad driving: Her daughter was in labor inside the Chrysler Pacifica and needed assistance.
By then, Brown had stopped at the scene and learned of the moment’s urgency. Hanson told him “the baby is coming now and we’re going to have to deliver it,” Brown recalled. By the time he grabbed gloves, locked his vehicle with the arrested felon inside and got to the van, the pregnant woman had managed the birth of her own baby girl in the front passenger seat. The officers supported the woman and newborn before an ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later.
Brown said he tried to calm the nervous family in the time between. “If the baby is crying, that is a good thing,” he told them.
The CO credited Hanson with managing a changing scenario, from safely pulling over a speeding vehicle on a snowy night to being ready to deliver a baby.
“It’s a pretty unusual, pretty eventful series of events,” Brown said. “Both of those situations don’t happen for a game warden, that is for sure.”