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Rough reputations follow trooper, medic in scuffle

Ron Jackson, Staff Writer and Sheila Stogsdill, State Correspondent Modified: June 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm •  Published: June 21, 2009
In Siloam Springs, Ark., he completed a one-year contract in 1992 as a paramedic for the fire department.

Siloam Springs Fire Chief Jimmy Harris remembered White as "a good medic” and someone "pleasant to be with.”

Gary Padgett, who supervised White as a paramedic in Harrison, Ark., in 1991 remembered him as "a pleasant young man” and a true professional.

Martin, meanwhile, served the Stillwater Police Department from October 2000 to March 2007 before being hired by the patrol, Stillwater Police Chief Norman McNickle said. The chief said he was legally restricted from discussing Martin’s work history.

But no one expressed such concerns in Fairfax.

Longtime Fairfax barber shop owner Linda Bevill, who cut Martin’s hair, described him as a bullish man who ran off teenagers from cruising Main Street and constantly accused people of drinking alcohol during traffic stops.

"He struck me as a man who probably didn’t have any control over any part of his life growing up; someone who needed control and power,” Bevill said. "I remember he even went and bought one of those portable police lights for his own car. He just needed to play cop even when he was off-duty.”

Former board of trustees member Ted Smith remembered Martin as someone who "didn’t take orders very well.”

Smith recalled one incident he witnessed in which two handcuffed teenagers were lying face down on the sidewalk. Martin stood over one of the youngsters with his pistol aimed at the youth’s head.

"The boys were already handcuffed and on the ground,” Smith said. "Why pull the gun? ... Yeah, we had a lot of trouble with him. We’re not surprised at all by what has happened. He just had an attitude.

"I always knew he’d be famous some day.”

What’s happened

→Cell-phone video captured by the son of an ambulance patient was placed on YouTube.

→The video shows state trooper Daniel Martin and paramedic Maurice White Jr. in a May 24 scuffle after Martin pulled over the ambulance in Paden.

→Martin accused the ambulance driver of making an obscene gesture at him, which the driver has denied. The driver was ticketed for failure to yield.

→The Oklahoma Highway Patrol released the dashboard camera video, in which more of the scuffle is seen.

→Martin’s attorney portrayed his client as an American hero who just returned from service in Iraq.

→White’s attorney responded by calling Martin a bully, and White went on national television to call for Martin to be stripped of his gun and badge.


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