Oklahoma Highway Patrol fight with EMT Trying To Take Woman To Hospital (w/ video)
Dust-up between trooper, paramedics investigated
By MANNY GAMALLO, Tulsa World, May 28, 2009
PADEN — The investigation of a weekend scuffle between state troopers and paramedics who were taking a woman to the hospital has been turned over to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Internal Affairs Unit and a county prosecutor.
No troopers have been suspended or put on paid leave, OHP Capt. Chris West said.
West would provide no other details of the Sunday incident, nor would he release the troopers' names or their reports, citing the administrative investigation.
The case is being investigated by an Okfuskee County prosecutor in Okemah, West said.
Assistant District Attorney Maxey Reilly said she just received the report Tuesday and hasn't had time to determine what charges, if any, should be filed. She said she hopes to do so by next week.
The Creek Nation, which operates the ambulance service involved, released detailed reports filed by the two paramedics.
The incident occurred in Paden as the Creek Nation ambulance, which did not have its emergency lights or siren on, was taking a sick woman from Boley to the hospital in nearby Prague.
to a report by paramedic Maurice White Jr., the ambulance, driven by Paul Franks, was nearing Paden when White saw a trooper's car approaching fast behind them.
White said the patrol car had its emergency lights on but that he couldn't hear a siren.
When he next noticed the patrol car, it was about three feet behind the ambulance's bumper, he said.
At that point, White told Franks to pull over to let the patrol car pass.
As the trooper passed, the ambulance received a radio transmission from the trooper, whom White quoted as telling them, "You should consider checking your rear-view mirrors."
A few blocks into Paden, White saw a trooper's car, with its lights and siren on, pull out of a side street and again race up to the ambulance, he said.
Franks pulled over, and he and White got out of the ambulance, White said.
White said the trooper had a woman in the car, so he thought at first that she was sick and that the trooper wanted them to look at her.
However, "the officer got out of his vehicle in a state of rage," White's report states.
The trooper, identified in the Creek Nation reports only as Trooper Martin, reportedly told Franks that he was going to be ticketed for failure to yield, adding, "What do you mean flipping me off?" White's report states.
White noted that when the trooper earlier advised them over the radio to check their mirrors, Franks held up his hands in surprise and that the trooper might have mistaken that for an indecent gesture.
White said he interceded, telling the trooper that they had a patient in the ambulance and were going to the hospital.
He said the trooper demanded that Franks get in the patrol car for a citation.
Again, White wrote, he told the trooper that they had a patient and that "we could continue this at the hospital."
"At this point," White continued, "I told my partner to listen to me and that we did not have time for this now."
White said the trooper then shouted at him that he was under arrest for obstructing an officer and then tried to handcuff him, resulting in a struggle.
White said he returned to the ambulance to check on the patient when another trooper, identified in White's report only as "badge 606," appeared and tried to arrest him.
The troopers finally let the ambulance go to the hospital, the report says.
Other troopers were at the hospital and told the medics they would not be arrested but that the incident would be forwarded to the district attorney for possible charges.
The Creek Nation's report noted that the patient's family was following them and that one relative had a camera and filmed the confrontation.