NPD dash cam video still shows officer pulling suspect from burning vehicle. (Source: Nacogdoches PD)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -
After risking his own life to rescue a wanted man from a fiery crash, Nacogdoches Police officer John Allen is being nominated for a state award.
According to the Nacogdoches Police Department's Facebook page, Allen's heroic act will be nominated for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) Life Saving Award.
Allen was among the officers pursuing a shoplifting suspect who took off from a grocery store on May 31 and headed to a neighborhood in south Nacogdoches.
When Allen reached the bottom of a hill at East Seale Street and Press Road, he drove up on the suspect's wrecked Chevrolet HHR. A dash cam video recording from Allen's squad car shows the mangled red vehicle smoking, cradled by twisted tree limbs and debris from the high-speed crash.
The video shows a man, identified by NPD as Douglass volunteer firefighter Adrian Nichols, attending to the suspect. Later in the recording, the driver tells officers his name is Michael Arnold.
After radioing a dispatcher for an ambulance and fire crew, Allen and Nichols are seen on the passenger side of the car, trying to pull Arnold, 32, through the heavy smoke pouring into the interior. The engine had caught fire and began spreading into the lower dash area.
As Arnold tried to free himself, moans of pain due to severe injuries are heard in the video. Allen and Nichols pulled him over the drivers seat and away from the burning vehicle.
Others who arrived on the scene tried using fire extinguishers, but moments later the vehicle erupted into flames.
Arnold was carried out of frame in the video and was instructed to stay on the ground until an ambulance arrived. A man's voice, presumably Allen, told Arnold that he had broken bones.
Details on Arnold's current condition or possible charges were not immediately available.
Tuesday, the Nacogdoches Police Department issued this statement about the rescue: "Had Officer Allen not continued to search for the suspect and once finding him, had he not taken the selfless action he took, the driver would have perished within a few short minutes of the accident. Officer Allen's and Mr. Nichols' actions demonstrate their character and their commitment as public servants. Both placed their life in great danger to save another person and both are assets to the Nacogdoches community."
According to the TCLEOSE website, nominees should exceed the normal expectations of job performance through acts of professional achievement, public service, or valor for the 2012 year.
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