Iowa officer has fatal heart attack during workout


The Des Moines Register
Related: Heart attacks on duty

DES MOINES — A Des Moines police officer died this afternoon of an apparent heart attack while working out in the police department’s gym.

Fellow officers rushed to aid Roger Hildreth, 48, after he fell off a treadmill, said police spokesman Vince Valdez, but were unable to revive him.

Hildreth was a patrol officer on the department’s second “watch,” or shift, which operates between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Hildreth began at the department on November 26, 1990. During the next two decades, he made a few appearances in the news.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving 1993, Hildreth was struck in the face during a massive brawl at a Des Moines bar. Four years later, on March 13, 1997, he chased down a burglary suspect who drove into a Pleasant Hill subdivision and abandoned his car when the entrance was blocked.

During a 2003 arrest, a suspect pulled a hunting knife on Hildreth, who with the help of three other officers managed to wrest the weapon from the suspect and detain him.

Valdez said no funeral plans have yet been announced. Additional details about the circumstances surrounding Hildreth’s death were not available tonight.

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