Local News

Selma police officer suspended after handcuffing ER nurse

Posted November 14, 2012

— A Selma police officer has been suspended with pay after being accused of handcuffing an emergency room nurse at a Johnston County hospital over the weekend.

Selma police investigators said Wednesday that officer Travis Abbott took a suspected drunken driver to the Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield around 1:30 a.m. Saturday to have blood drawn.

According to a 911 call, Abbott handcuffed the nurse when she refused to draw blood because Abbott didn't have a court order.

"Officer Travis Abbott came and just arrested and made a huge scene with our house administrators," a nurse told the 911 dispatch supervisor in the call. "He just handcuffed her – he could care less about anything – in front of the middle of our ER. And this whole ER is in complete chaos, and frankly, somebody needs to come here and handle it."

The nursing supervisor was released from Abbott's handcuffs after Smithfield police arrived.

Selma Police Chief Charles Bowen said police are investigating what happened but that based on what he knows so far, it appeared Abbot did have the necessary paperwork to have the suspect's blood withdrawn.

Investigators said that the DWI suspect was later taken to the county magistrate, who released him because there was no probable cause.

Abbott has been with the Selma Police Department since 2009.

190 Comments

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  • b444s Nov 21, 7:48 p.m.

    How do these kinds of people with this kind of judgement and tempermeant get hired as police officers?

  • whoami Nov 16, 5:46 p.m.

    If an officer has all the appropriate paperwork/requirements met, and a medical professional refuses to carry out the order sanctioned by the court, the medical professional could fall under the category of obstruction of justice. Granted, this instance, the handcuffing was a bit extreme, even IF everything was in order. The only exception being if the nurse had physically attacked the officer, which is apparently not the case.

  • areimann Nov 16, 5:02 p.m.

    I love seeing all the back and forth!!!

  • Mike H Nov 16, 2:02 p.m.

    uhhuh ... I think you got it backwards. So-called "law enforcement" has *no* authority over a medical professional. This cop needs to be fired and charged with unlawful confinement. A few months in prison would give him some time to think about the consequences of his actions.

  • Marty King Nov 15, 6:37 p.m.

    I am sure that Wackenhut Security is hiring... if Abbott can take it.

  • Wheat Thin Nov 15, 6:07 p.m.

    Qwerty- protected from civil litigation??? i think not. the officer, department, town and/or county, and state can all be sued for an officer making a mistake.

  • Qwerty27807 Nov 15, 5:43 p.m.

    The implied consent is between the LEO and the suspect, and is a CRIMINAL matter.

    The refusal of the blood draw is between the nurse and the patient, and is a CIVIL matter.

    Every one of you cops spouting criminal statutes are protected by your employer from civil litigation, so it is understandable that you wouldn't realize there are other contradictory issues at play.

    The nurse does not have that luxury, and most hospitals will throw a nurse under the bus faster than you would believe once a lawsuit is filed.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Nov 15, 5:02 p.m.

    A case could even be made that this falls under the Fifth Amendment. We don't have to say or do anything that may incriminate us. I'm not saying we can do so without repercussion. But we do have that right.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Nov 15, 5:00 p.m.

    Cops cannot even FORCE one to take a breathalyzer test.

    What in heaven's name makes people think they can FORCE one to donate a blood sample?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Nov 15, 4:56 p.m.

    A cop can REQUEST. A cop can ASK.

    You can say no.

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