Update: PINAC reader Theo put together a petition calling for the termination of Oklahoma State Trooper Daniel Martin. For whatever it’s worth, we will send it to Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief, Colonel Van M. Guillotte. Also, see the dash cam video here.
An Oklahoma State Trooper pulled over an ambulance on its way to the hospital Sunday, resulting in the police officer placing a chokehold on a paramedic as a patient lingered in the back.
It was all caught on video by the patient’s son, who was following in another car.
The officer was apparently upset that the ambulance did not yield for him.
However, it is evident that the ambulance had a real emergency on its hands, unlike the cop, who had been speeding towards some incident he was able to resolve in minutes, enabling him to refocus his attention on the ambulance.
The incident marks the second time this year that a police officer pulled a vehicle over as it was clearly on its way to a hospital for an emergency.
Paramedics say they were rushing a woman to the hospital who had suffered heat exhaustion when they noticed the trooper traveling at a high rate of speed behind them. They say the trooper had its emergency lights on but had its sirens off.
The driver of the ambulance did not notice the trooper until it got right behind him. He pulled over allowing it to pass.
Through his microphone, the officer allegedly said, “You should consider checking your rearview mirrors.”
The driver of the ambulance said he responded by lifting his hands in bewilderment.
Three blocks later, the trooper was seen pulling out of a side street – apparently having addressed his emergency or having picked up a female passenger – and pulled the ambulance over.
At first, paramedics thought the woman in the passenger side was having an emergency.
According to the paramedic’s transport incident report:
The officer got out of his vehicle in a state of rage. He approached my partner and yelled, “Get your ass back here. I am giving you a ticket for failure to yield.”
He also added, “What do you mean flipping me off?”
The trooper wanted to cite the driver of the ambulance but the other paramedic insisted on driving the patient to the hospital first, then allowing the driver to be cited.
The trooper then told the second paramedic that he was under arrest for obstruction and attempted to grab the paramedic’s arm.
But the paramedic reminded him that it was a felony to assault a paramedic in the line of duty, especially when he needs to transport a patient to the hospital.
They struggled briefly before the paramedic was able to hop in the back of the ambulance to tend to the patient.
By that time, another trooper had pulled up and started banging on the side of the ambulance, telling the paramedic that he was under arrest for assault.
The paramedic stepped out of the vehicle and another struggle ensued – this one caught on tape – which resulted in a cop grabbing the paramedic in a vise-like-grip around his neck.
The officers finally allowed the paramedics to transport the patient to the hospital where they planned to arrest the paramedic.
But then they finally got smart and contacted the district attorney, who insisted on reviewing the evidence before filing charges.
Police say they have their own version of the truth that was recorded by their dashboard cam. Of course they are refusing to release it.
At one point in the hospital, the trooper told the paramedic that he was so enraged about the perceived “flipping off” gesture that he considered pulling his gun out and using deadly force, according to the paramedic’s transport report.
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