Roswell man: Officer detained me while rushing wife to hospital - CBS46 News

Roswell man: Officer detained me while rushing wife to hospital

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A Roswell man filed a complaint with the Roswell Police Department Tuesday after he was stopped by an officer while rushing his wife to the hospital.

Johnny White's wife has stage four cancer, and when the couple tried to explain what was going on, the officer told them to prove it.

White told CBS Atlanta's Hena Daniels that if his wife didn't get to the hospital in time, she could have died.

"This has been a battle for three years physically, financially, and mentally, so for me yesterday was another battle we had to endure unnecessarily," said White.

Doctors diagnosed Roxanna, White's wife of 25 years, with stage four breast cancer three years ago and every month since she has undergone radiation therapy.

"Given what she's gone through, her tolerance level is pretty high," said White.

That's why White knew it was an emergency when his wife called him at work Tuesday afternoon complaining of chest pain. The couple rushed to North Fulton Hospital, less than two miles away, when a Roswell police officer pulled the Whites over.

He informed them they were going 44 in a 25 mph speed zone. That's when White told the officer his wife had cancer and she had to get to the hospital.

"He asked me to prove it," said White. "My wife was crying hysterically as she's going through her purse looking for medical records."

White couldn't find his wife's medical records. He asked the officer to call an ambulance.

But instead, he said the officer took about 15 minutes to write a citation.

"The officer was in a unique position to get me and my wife to a hospital. We were detained longer than we should have been," said White.

When they reached the hospital, emergency room doctors diagnosed Roxanna with life threatening blood clots in her lung.

White said he doesn't blame the officer. His issue is the lack of sensitivity training, especially during breast cancer awareness month.

"I don't know what directive he was under. Most people are compassionate," said White.

Roswell Police held a press conference on this case late Wednesday afternoon.   They say the officer was simply following procedure.

"It could have possibly been handled differently.  One comment is why couldn't the officer escort the couple to the hospital.  Our policy forbids that so he couldn't do that," said Lt. James McGhee.

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