Creek Nation Paramedic Maurice White Jr., who was involved in a May scuffle with an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper, was arrested today following a traffic stop this morning in the town of Vian. White , who was in his own car when he was pulled over, is facing a variety of charges including speeding, not having a driver’s license, not wearing a seatbelt, and resisting arrest.
Vian Assistant Police Chief Brian Chandler, who made the arrest, told reporters the 56-year-old White was booked into the Sequoyah County jail.
Here are excerpts from an article by Rhett Morgan of Tulsa World:
While Chandler was completing a citation, White allegedly approached the police car and was asked to return to his vehicle, police said. “I asked him again to go back to his vehicle, and he said, ‘What was I going to do’ if he didn’t?” Chandler said. “It went downhill from there.”
White’s vehicle allegedly was clocked at 39 mph in a 25 mph zone, Chandler said. He faces fines of $668, said a spokeswoman with the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office. White attorney, Richard O’Carroll, said the allegations are “officer fiat. If he (the officer) says it happened, it happened.
“I think it will never make it to the courthouse door,” he said. “We’re going to contest it right there in the city of Vian. If we can’t beat it in the city of Vian, we’ll bring it on down to the city of Sallisaw, and we’ll deal within the county courthouse. It ain’t going anywhere — for a fact.”
On May 24, White, while working for a Creek Nation ambulance, was part of a tussle with OHP Trooper Daniel Martin.
Martin had stopped the ambulance at Paden after he thought the ambulance driver, Paul Franks, had made an obscene finger gesture, which the trooper felt was an “act of defiance.”
White came out of the back of the ambulance and said he told Martin they were taking a patient to the hospital and asked to continue the dispute there. A physical altercation ensued at the side of the ambulance, a video of which was aired on national TV channels.
Martin served a five-day suspension, levied July 21, for “conduct unbecoming an officer’’ for his role in the tussle with White.
OHP spokesman Chris West said Martin had a right to stop the ambulance and had justification to arrest the paramedic for obstructing an officer, but that the situation could have been handled differently.
O’Carroll called the timing of White’s arrest on Monday “curious,” given that White is scheduled to testify Wednesday in the jury trial of Kristopher Douglas, of Holdenville. Douglas, 28, is charged with obstructing an officer in Hughes County for allegedly not heeding officers’ commands in connection with a Oct. 3 traffic stop, which took place in front of Douglas’ uncle’s home.
Stemming from that incident, Martin and OHP Trooper Tommy Allen were placed on administrative leave for six weeks but cleared of accusations of using excessive force.
“A prosecutor called me and told me my witness had just been arrested before I knew it,” O’Carroll said, referring to White’s arrest Monday “… I’m going to check the cell phone records for everybody.”
O’Carroll said he didn’t think the arrest would affect White’s civil case against Martin. In July, White filed a federal lawsuit in Muskogee, claiming that the OHP trooper violated his civil rights.