'medical procedures..not in our policy manual'..so they actually have to have policy on the books for an officer to use common sense/good judgement? yhgtbfkm.
All charges dropped against husband taking wife to hospital
By Callie Starnes
Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - He was rushing his wife to Erlanger last week, and treated the red lights as stop signs. And when he didn't pull over for a police officer, the firestorm began.
The Police Chief and District Attorney both agreed, Jesse Wright's need to get his wife to the hospital outweighed the laws he broke.
He and his wife tell Eyewitness News they hope this never happens again.
Jesse Wright says Chattanooga's Police Chief was the one to deliver the news that the charges against him were dropped.
"He offered his apology on behalf of the police department, even though he was not involved himself. He felt as though that was appropriate and I appreciated that from him," says Wright.
The apology comes one week after Jesse's arrest.
Trying to get his wife Aline, who appeared to be suffering a stroke, to Erlanger-- Jesse ran two red lights.
"They've decided that the necessity to get Mrs. Wright to the hospital was greater than the charges he was arrested for," says Lt. Kim Noorbergen.
Lt. Kim Noorbergen says based on the report Officer James Daves presented to his supervisor and a magistrate, there was probable cause to arrest Jesse.
"Running a traffic light is a violation so there was probable cause to do that. Should it have been done? it's a judgement call," says Lt. Noorbergen.
Eyewitness News learned Tuesday the department's policy manual does not include protocol for how to handle a medical emergency during a traffic violation.
It does state an officer should check for signs of physical impairment, and emotional distress.
Noorbergen says the department is taking a hard look at its guidelines and continuing its investigation into the Wrights' claim that Officer Daves blocked the emergency room entrance.
Jesse and Aline Wright say that's all they want.
"I don't know the reasons why things happened this way but I don't want it to happen to anyone else. It's time you can't get back," says Aline Wright.
"We'll take some time to consider what other steps we need to take legally, but my biggest concern is that it not happen again," says Jesse Wright.
Police say in a medical emergency, call 911 so officers on the road know you're driving to the hospital.
Jesse told Eyewitness News he considered calling for help, but when he saw the blue lights in his rear-view mirror he assumed he had an escort.
By Callie Starnes & WRCB Staff
UPDATE: CPD drops all charges against husband
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - The Chattanooga Police Department tells Eyewitness News it has placed the officer accused of barring a couple from entering the Erlanger Medical Center emergency room on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
On Tuesday morning, retired Chattanooga Police Chief Freeman Cooper told Channel 3 he's "sorry about Erlanger ER incident". While the incident did not happen on his watch, Cooper felt like an apology for CPD's handling of the incident was appropriate.
Officer James Daves is on paid administrative leave pending an Internal Affairs investigation of the incident that occurred at Erlanger Medical Center involving Eric "Jesse" Wright and Aline Wright.
This is not the first incident that has led to an investigation for Officer James Daves. Channel 3 Eyewitness News has confirmed that Officer Daves had been suspended without pay in September 2008. His suspension lasted for five days.
Aline Wright told WRCB Officer Daves blocked the entrance to the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center after her husband Eric "Jesse" Wright ran a red light while attempting to get her to the emergency room. Aline, a cancer survivor, was showing symptoms of having a stroke at the time she was rushed to the hospital.
A warrant was issued for Jesse, and he was subsequently arrested two days later.
The Chattanooga Police Department tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that because an Internal Affairs investigation has been launched into this incident, they will not make any further comments about the case.
Eyewitness News has filed an open records request with the City of Chattanooga for information pertaining to Daves' first administrative leave.
Eyewitness News attempted to contact Daves on Monday. Our e-mails and calls were not returned.
Instead we received an e-mail from Lt. Kim Noorbergen, spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department.
"Officer Daves respectfully request you do not attempt to contact him again regarding the IA investigation," wrote Noorbergen. "Under policy, he would not be permitted to talk with any media regarding the investigation."
Newlywed couple: Officer blocked us from ER during bride's stroke
Posted: Jun 18, 2010 11:58 AM PDT
Updated: Jun 22, 2010 9:16 AM PDT
Aline Wright submitted this photo to WRCB, showing her condition moments after arriving.
Aline and Jesse were married this past Sunday. This week was supposed to be their honeymoon.By Callie Starnes & WRCB Staff
UPDATE: Officer placed on administrative leave, under investigation
UPDATE 2: Chattanooga Police drop all charges against husband
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – A patient, believed to be having a stroke, says an officer with the Chattanooga Police Department blocked her husband from taking her to the emergency room at Erlanger Wednesday night.
Aline Wright is a cancer survivor, amputee and a newlywed. Wednesday night she began to show signs she was having a stroke.
"I started feeling some left arm numbness and a facial droop," said Aline.
"It appeared to me that I was probably having a stroke."
That's when her husband of four days, Jesse Wright, put her in the car and rushed her to the Erlanger Medical Center. Wright knows an emergency. He is a nurse technician at Erlanger.
On the way to the hospital, Aline says Jesse treated two red lights like stop signs. He would stop and then proceed if no traffic was coming. After Jesse ran the second stop light one block from Erlanger, the officer turned on the cruiser's blue lights and followed the couple into the emergency room parking lot.
"At that point we figured because we were so close to Erlanger emergency department that the police would be aware that's where we were going," said Aline.
According to Aline, the officer caught up with the couple as they were attempting to enter the emergency room at Erlanger Medical Center. Aline says her husband was carrying her in his arms because she could not walk. According to Aline, the officer blocked the entrance and demanded answers for running the red lights.
"He picks me up in his arms and the officer continues to block the way into the emergency room," said Aline.
"He's standing between Jesse and I, and the emergency room doors."
Aline says eventually the officer allowed them to enter the hospital, but says he didn't stop there.
Aline tells Channel 3 Eyewitness News that once the couple was placed in a hospital room, the officer attempted to enter their room to arrest Jesse for evading the police.
Erlanger medical personnel then turned the officer away, informing him that since Aline could not speak Jesse was needed to answer questions for the doctors.
Thursday morning Erlanger security informed the couple that a warrant for Jesse's arrest had been issued, and suggested he turn himself in. Aline says Jesse went to the Hamilton County Jail to turn himself in that evening. According to Aline, jail employees told Jesse that they had no record of a warrant for him and told him he was free to go.
Jesse returned to his ailing wife's bedside at Erlanger Medical Center.
"I thought it was over," said Aline.
"But apparently it wasn't. I was awakened abruptly by people coming in the room."
On Friday morning the police were back at the hospital. This time Jesse surrendered to Erlanger Security who arrested him on behalf of the Chattanooga Police Department.
Channel 3 had the only crew there as Jesse was released on $7,500 bond, about eight hours after being arrested. He is facing seven charges related to Wednesday night's events, including felony evading arrest. He's due in court on July 9th.
Eyewitness News contacted Chattanooga Police today for their side of the story.
Lt. Kim Noorbergen said, "Unless we receive an Internal Affairs complaint on an officer we trust he is doing his job."
The department will not comment further until a formal complaint is filed with the Internal Affairs Department.
Aline Wright says she plans to file a complaint. The couple has already hired an attorney for a possible lawsuit.
An Erlanger spokesperson tells us by law their security guards are obligated to carry out any arrest warrant related to felony charges. The Erlanger spokesperson says once they learned the warrant for Wright's arrest was issued, and they learned he was in the building, they had to arrest him.
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