Man Rushing Heart Attack Victim to Hospital is Arrested
While rushing his brother to the E.R. for a heart attack, Raymond Smith was chased down by police. After explaining the emergency situation, he was still arrested but the charges were later dropped. INSIDE EDITION has the story.
A police dashcam video is at the center of an agonizing drama. Inside the car, a driver is in a life-or-death race to get his stricken brother to the emergency room, and he's not stopping for the police.
Once the driver gets to the hospital, he's busted for not pulling over.
Raymond Smith and his elder brother Gerald have been tight since they were just kids. So tight, they live next-door to each other near Fort Worth, Texas.
Raymond says he found his brother close to unconsciousness after a heart attack, his sixth.
"He said, 'Get me to the hospital.' I'm like, we're gone," said Raymond.
When a police officer spots Raymond hitting 80 miles an hour, he tries in vain to pull him over. At one point, four police cars are involved in the chase.
"When we got there, I figured I would explain to the officer the situation. If he wanted to write me a speeding ticket, knock yourself out mister. I just want to save my brother," said Raymond.
Raymond only stops when he gets to the hospital. Police pulled up and said, "Put your hands out the car, now! Driver, step out of the vehicle!"
Raymond walks backwards with his hands behind his head, out of frame.
Face down on the ground, he tries to explain the situation to one officer, saying, "He's having a heart attack. It's really bad."
"He just kept pointing a gun at me, and I wanted people to understand, my brother's having a heart attack," said Raymond.
The video showed police saying, "Passenger, put your hands out the window now!"
With guns still drawn, police make sure there's no threat in the car. When they realize there is indeed a sick man in the passenger seat, one officer beckons for a hospital staffer with a wheelchair to come on out. The brother's head slumps as the police help him into the wheelchair.
Raymond, still off camera, is apologetic as his brother is taken into the emergency room.
"Sorry about the incovenience, guys. I'm just trying to keep my brother alive," said Raymond.
The officers turn their attention to Raymond. The arrest report says he smelled strongly of alcohol. An officer gives Raymond a field sobriety test. Remember, while all this is going on, his brother is fighting for his life a few feet away inside the emergency room.
The officer says raymond failed the sobriety test. He arrests him and takes him to be booked, miles from where his brother is being treated.
"I did not know if my brother was alive or dead until after he got all the paperwork done," said Raymond.
Raymond was charged with DWI and evading arrest. The arrest report says he had admitted drinking, something caught on camera as his brother was being helped.
The police officer asked him, "Have you been drinking tonight?"
"Yes, I have been drinking. I was not planning on going anywhere," replied Raymond.
Police also say Raymond was swerving between lanes on his way to the hospital and disregarding the safety of other drivers. He denies that.
"I'm staying in my lane. I got my hazards on, I got my lights on. No trafic out there," said Raymond.
INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent asked police spokesman Sgt. Jeriahme Miller what Raymond should have done while his brother was having a heart attack.
"He should have dialed 911 and let the paramedics come to their residence and give him the treatment he needed and let them transport him to the hospital," said Sgt. Miller.
So how is Raymond's brother doing? Gerald just got out of the hospital after heart surgery. He's shocked at what happened after his brother saved his life.
"There was no time. He had to do what he had to do," said Gerald Smith.
Gerald's daughter Nickie was the one who bailed her uncle Raymond out of jail that morning. She said, "I'm appalled. I cannot believe it happened the way it did. I just can't believe it."
The charges against Raymond, a trucker, were eventually dropped and he has no regrets about the way he saved his brother's life.
Raymond said, "My first and only priority is to my brother. We depend on each other, and that's all that matters."
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