Officer On Leave After Arresting Man Who Was Rushing Wife to ER


A Chattanooga, Tennessee police officer who arrested and allegedly threatened a man who was speeding en route to the hospital has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Officer James Daves will remain on leave until the conclusion of an internal affairs study of the incident, in which Daves followed newlyweds Eric “Jessie” Wright and his wife Aline to the Erlanger Medical Center after pursuing them through the city.

The Wrights were rushing to the emergency room at Erlanger, where they both were employed, because Aline was experiencing stroke-like symptoms, including numbness in her arms and drooping facial muscles. She was at an elevated risk for having a stroke because of chemotherapy drugs; Aline had already lost a leg to cancer.

Jessie Wright, who is a trained emergency medic, had taken his wife’s vital signs and made the decision to transport her to the medical center by car, since transport by ambulance would have taken an extra 20 or 30 minutes, he said. After carrying Aline to their vehicle, he called the hospital to let them know they were coming. He drove with emergency blinkers on, sounded his horn and was “cautious” in running three red lights.

Daves, driving a Chattanooga Police Department vehicle, fell in behind Wright at an intersection and turned on his lights and siren. Wright did not stop, however, because he was so close to the hospital. When he arrived there, he carried his wife into the emergency room.

According to Wright, Daves then confronted him, using obscenities, threatening felony charges against him, and saying that he was “going to send me to jail.”

In an affadavit, Daves wrote that the “defendant stopped in the ER entrance and jumped out and ran. Police made contact with Defendant at the passenger side of the vehicle and I grabbed the defendant’s arm and he pushed me away scraping my arm with his fingernail. Defendant yelled and said it was an emergency.”

“Defendant pushed through the crowd and carried a female back into the emergency room and placed her in a room with no permission of the hospital staff,” wrote Daves, adding that Wright’s registration was expired.

Wright was eventually taken into custody and booked into Hamilton County jail, where he spent several hours before being released on $7,500 bail. He is charged with seven felonies. His wife, Aline, was released from the hospital. Although she had experienced stroke-like symptoms, she was not diagnosed with having had an actual stroke.

Wright says that Daves “was trumping up charges to get back at me,” and that his actions had endangered Aline’s life. Until the internal investigation concludes, Daves remains on paid administrative leave from the Chattanooga Police Department.


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