Local News

Selma police officer suspended after handcuffing ER nurse

Posted November 14, 2012 12:44 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2012 7:25 p.m. EST

— 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but that based on what he knows so far, it appeared Abbot did have the necessary paperwork to have the suspect's blood withdrawn.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.