A Tennessee police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after trying to arrest a Chattanooga driver who ran two red lights while rushing to a hospital emergency room to seek treatment for his wife's stroke-like symptoms.
When Aline Wright suddenly lost the ability to speak and her face began to droop, her husband Eric "Jessie" Wright got her to their car and began racing to nearby Erlanger Medical Center hospital where they both worked, according to CNN affiliate WTVC. Aline, who is a nurse, lost her leg to cancer and as a result of her chemotherapy treatments, suffered problems that put her at greater risk of suffering a blood clot.
Wright told WTVC that he drove with his blinkers on and cautiously proceeded through two red lights last Wednesday night, on the way to the hospital. Officer Jim Daves tried to pull over the couple, but Wright refused and continued to the medical center. Daves followed and as Wright carried his disabled wife to the emergency room, the police officer tried to arrest him and threatened to file felony charges.
Wright said that he walked around Daves and tended to his wife, but in his report, Daves disputed Wright's version of events:
"The defendant endangered several lives with his reckless and careless driving," Officer Daves wrote in the affidavit.
Mr. Wright then pushed Officer Daves away as he got out of the car, scraping the officer with his fingernails and telling him it was "an emergency and that he was an EMT and to leave him alone," the affidavit states.
Wright was later arrested and charged with "assault on police, disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment, felony evading arrest, registration expired and two counts of traffic signals violation," reports The Chattanooga Times Free Press. Wright was released after posting $7,500 bail.
On Tuesday, the Free Press reported that all seven charges against Wright had been dropped.