OKEMAH — The ambulance driver who was at the heart of a traffic stop that led to a scuffle between a state trooper and a paramedic said he believes the trooper should be moved.
In particular, Paul Franks said, trooper Daniel Martin should be sent to the Panhandle or southeastern Oklahoma. Though Martin lives north of Okemah and patrols the Okfuskee County area, he works for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, which is based in McAlester, the reputed capital of Little Dixie. Troop D covers Okfuskee, Seminole, Hughes, Pittsburg, Latimer and Le Flore counties. On Wednesday, the patrol announced it had suspended Martin for five days without pay for "conduct unbecoming an officer” in connection with a May 24 traffic stop of a Creek Nation ambulance, driven by Franks. The suspension is in effect through Tuesday. Martin stopped the ambulance at Paden after he perceived that Franks had given him an obscene finger gesture, which the trooper felt was an "act of defiance.” Franks denied ever giving the trooper the finger. As Martin approached Franks at the stop, paramedic Maurice White Jr. exited the ambulance. White repeatedly told Martin that they were taking a woman to the hospital and asked if they could continue the dispute there. But Martin repeatedly told White to back off, and then tried twice to arrest White, leading to two scuffles between the pair.