OHP Trooper Suspended For 5 Days Over Scuffle

Wednesday, July 22nd 2009, 6:43 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has announced the findings of its investigation into a first responder fight.

OHP Trooper Daniel Martin has been suspended without pay for five working days beginning Wednesday and will conclude on Tuesday, July 28th.

Trooper Martin will also report for an anger assessment. Based on that assessment, further training and/or education may be required, according to a discipline letter issued by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.

Read OHP's Discipline Letter To Trooper Martin

This action comes after Martin's scuffle with paramedic Maurice White on May 24th.

White's attorney calls it a slap on the wrist.

This punishment comes down just a day after paramedic Maurice White filed a lawsuit against Trooper Martin. His attorney says he probably would have dropped the lawsuit if Martin was fired, but now they'll continue to look for vindication in a courtroom.

"Trooper Martin's decision making and conduct at the scene are not representative of the conduct expected by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper and resulted in conduct unbecoming," said Captain Chris West, OHP spokesperson.

Read Statement From OHP Captain Chris West

But OHP did side with Trooper Daniel Martin, saying he did have a reason to stop the ambulance last May, for not yielding to his patrol car. And they also said Martin had justification to arrest Maurice White for interfering.

"But the situation could have and should have been handled differently," said Captain Chris West.

White has said he was trying to tell the trooper that there was a patient on board the ambulance, but the trooper didn't care. White is now suing Martin for using unreasonable force.

"I knew they weren't going to fire him, although they should. But this is just a slap on the wrist and quite honestly it's surprising," said Richard O'Carroll, White's attorney.

Richard O'Carroll calls the whole thing a farce and says this is scary for citizens of this state.

"Troopers get away with this kind of outrageous behavior that is memorialized on film inflicted on a fellow professional; think what they get away with when the cameras aren't rolling," said Richard O'Carroll.

The News On 6 also spoke with the driver of the ambulance and he says he's also disappointed.