CREEK COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Creek County deputy earned the Medal of Valor from the Oklahoma Sheriff's Association. Deputy Ron Teel received the award for his part in capturing a man accused of kidnapping and raping an 8-year-old girl.

The arrest turned into a fight and Deputy Teel was thrown into traffic. He didn't learn until later, the little girl was in the trunk of the suspect's car the entire time.

Deputy Ron Teel has been in law enforcement more than 30 years. Like all cops, he lives for that moment when you can catch a bad guy and save a life.

That was the case in May when he answered a call about a man acting up in a restaurant parking lot in Sapulpa. That man was the subject of an Amber Alert, suspected of kidnapping a little girl from Tulsa.

Deputy Teel says it was going fine until he tried to handcuff Michael Slatton.

"I got one cuff on him and it happened," he said.

Teel said Slatton jumped back into the car and put it in gear. Deputy Teel reached in and put it back in park, they're struggling the whole time.

He says Slatton finally got it into gear and hit the gas.

"When he started going forward, I remembered those gas meters. That's when I climbed in the car because I knew those meters would really hurt me bad," he said.

Now, they're both in the driver's seat, exchanging punches as the car speeds into the grass, over curbs and finally flings Deputy Teel out onto the street as Slatton speeds away.

Deputy Teel's knee was torn up; he had road rash on his arms, part of his scalp missing but he still made sure to see which way Slatton went and refused medical help until Slatton was captured.

"I'm no different than anybody else, other officers in the world, when I start a job, I want to finish it to the end," he said.

They believe his encounter with Deputy Teel pressured Slatton into dumping the girl in a nearby wooded area, where they found her alive.

They say the evidence looks like Slatton had raped her and put her in the trunk earlier in the day.

"Wow, she had to ride through all that stuff just being locked up in the trunk," Deputy Teel said.

Slatton has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, rape, child abuse and assaulting an officer. He's waiting for a mental competency exam before the court case moves forward.