Officer Who Saved Family From Flood Faces Punishment

| by Zara Zhi
Jamie Stathem's SUVJamie Stathem's SUV

A police officer from Haughton, Louisiana, is facing disciplinary action after making a life-or-death decision to save a stranded family during a flood.

On March 8, when Jamie Stathem and her two children were swept away by rising flood waters while in their SUV, an unnamed officer rescued the family.

"The road gave way and the front end dropped down and started floating,” Jamie told KSLA.

The vehicle eventually got caught in a barbed wire fence.

"I told them to get out and on the roof. Alexus fell in the water," she said.

Alexus and Jamie held onto a tree while her son, Brandon, secured himself on the roof of the SUV and called 911.

"When that Haughton police officer was coming down the road, that's what gave us the willpower to give us the strength to keep holding on," adds Jamie.

"He was just doing his job. It was the right thing to do," she said.

As a result, the officer’s SUV was also swept away and he is now facing discipline for acting outside his jurisdiction.

Haughton Police Chief Rodney Farrington verified there would be a special public meeting scheduled for March 15 regarding an officer's supposed violation of policy and procedure, according to KSLA.

Because it's a personnel issue, Farrington couldn't confirm whether or not the meeting is about the officer acting outside city limits or because a police vehicle was destroyed in the flood waters, according to TheBlaze.

The officer in question didn’t want to be identified nor comment on the situation. Although, when KSLA asked if he'd do it all again to save a life, he said yes. 

According to KSLA, this is the second time the officer has been involved in damage to a Haughton patrol vehicle. In 2014, he destroyed a police car while responding to a call for assistance.

"Even though he was stuck out with us, I knew it made me feel better knowing he was that close. It was the sense of security we needed to hang on that night," says Jamie with tears in her eyes. "Just knowing he was that close helped."

Sources: KSLA, The Blaze / Photo credit: Stathem family via KSLA

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