KREBS Police officer injured after saving life of suspect he was arresting

Monday, August 13th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Police officers rarely know what they'll face in the line of duty. Routine traffic stops turn deadly more often than shootings or assaults. KOTV’s Tami Marler says it's a statistic one officer from Krebs, Oklahoma is grateful to have escaped.

2-year-old Carson Quinton doesn't understand why her daddy can't hold her right now. But someday she'll hear the story that has the whole town of Krebs talking. Krebs Police Chief Dennis Cook, "He tried to save someone that he was about to arrest. It happened so fast, that he didn't have time to think, he just did his job, and uh, you know, he's a hero in our eyes."

Officer David Quinton was making a routine traffic stop on a stretch of highway when another driver nearly ran him down. Officer David Quinton, "They call it a moth effect. People under the influence, they'll kind of go toward lights. That's how come a lot of police officers get killed." Zero tolerance. That's the policy here in Krebs for drugs and alcohol. That's why officer David Quinton let one speeder go, to go after Johney Ford. Quinton: "And I just knew that this is classic DUI; he's all over the road. He pulls back to the right, finally stops. And I go up to the window and I ask him, 'didn't you see us back there?' You know, and he just gives me this blank stare, and I ask him, well how much have you had to drink; and that common answer, 'two beers.’ He never turned the car off, and he just put the car up, I seen, like he put it in park." But Ford had put the car in reverse. "And the car starts rolling and I immediately start pushing you know, trying to hang on to it, because the wheels were gonna run over him, so I grabbed him."

In the process of saving Johney Ford, Quinton got lodged between the door and the ground. He seriously injured his back for a man Police say has at least seven prior DUI convictions, the last three in 1993. Quinton: "If they run three felonies at the same time together, I mean that's crazy, if he didn't do jail time." Chief Cook: "It's hard to work this when you work the accidents, you see the injuries; it's hard to understand why he's still out driving."

That may be the one thing daddy won't be able to explain to his little girl. Doctors are waiting to see if Officer Quinton's spine will require surgery. Johney Ford is in Pittsburgh County jail; prosecutors have charged him with felony DUI, and possession of a controlled substance