OKC Officer Denied Help From Citizens While Trying To Arrest Suspect

Friday, November 1st 2013, 7:09 pm
By: News 9

A routine traffic stop quickly escalated into a physical scuffle between a police officer and the suspect he had pulled over.

While the officer tried to arrest the suspect, 27-year-old Roderick Berry, he yelled at a group of people at the nearby Burger King to call 911 and request backup.

Despite his call for help, nobody nearby did anything. That forced the officer to use one hand and radio backup.

In that moment, Berry was able to get enough space between himself and office to elbow the officer in the shoulder/neck area, according to a police report. Berry then got away from the officer and took off.

"When it gets to a point where an officer has asked citizens for help, he really needs help," explained John George, President of the Fraternal Order of Police in Oklahoma City. "When an officer is hollering for help, we would hope that citizens would help, whether it's calling 911 or in some cases they may have to jump in and help. That's happened in the past several times."

George said he could not think of a recent situation where the public did not assist an officer who needed help.

Master Sergeant Gary Knight told News 9 that the officer used an emergency button on his radio to call for assistance. Every officer has one of those buttons on his or her radio. When pressed, it alerts dispatch of the officer's location so they can immediately send the backup.

Officers sent to the scene quickly tracked Berry down and arrest him for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, resisting arrest and assault and battery on an officer, according to the police report.

While this incident ended well, John George with the Fraternal Order of Police in Oklahoma City said it could have been different.

"With our low man power and the way the city size is spread out, a lot of times they can get in these dangerous situations where they are alone and it may be several minutes before we can get back-up there," George said.

Knight said that nobody was seriously injured in the scuffle.