Deputy injured during traffic stop

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

The sheriff of Osage County said Monday that one of his deputies suffered a broken leg when a motorist backed into him violently during a traffic stop about 2 a.m.

Sheriff Eddie Virden said Deputy Casey Witt was southbound on Lynn Avenue in Pawhuska when he noticed a vehicle exit an alley just south of the intersection of Lynn and Main. Virden said it was his understanding the vehicle might have been moving erratically and at a high rate of speed. Witt pursued the vehicle, which Virden identified as a white Ford pickup, and pulled it over. The motorist reportedly slammed on the brakes of the pickup.

When Witt got out of his patrol vehicle to approach the Ford pickup, the suspect reportedly backed the truck into the deputy and drove away. Deputy Witt was still in the road, and Pawhuska police had come to his aid, when the suspect’s pickup reportedly came speeding back along Lynn in the direction of the wounded deputy. A Pawhuska officer helping Witt out of the road reportedly opened fire toward the oncoming pickup and wounded the driver.

Deputy Witt was transported to Bartlesville for medical attention, and from there to Tulsa, Virden said. The sheriff said he had been told about two fractures to the deputy’s left leg.

The suspect ditched the Ford truck and fled on foot, Virden said. A female passenger, who had been riding with the suspect, was captured, questioned and later released, the sheriff said. When law enforcement captured the suspect after dawn Monday, he was transported for medical attention. The sheriff told Osage County commissioners on Monday that the suspect, identified as Cameron J. Enox, 26, was anticipated to be released from medical care into the custody of Osage County authorities.

“It’s been a long night,” Virden told the commissioners. “Pray for our deputy’s ability to recover from this.”

Oklahoma Department of Corrections records and court records indicated Enox is a probationer with a felony record. Both Virden and Pawhuska Interim Police Chief Lorrie Hennesy confirmed the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has been brought into the investigation because of the officer-involved shooting aspect. Hennesy on Monday said that Pawhuska officers who responded to the incident would not be questioned until later in the week.

Virden acknowledged it had been fortunate that Witt had been in Pawhuska when his injury occurred, and in a location where other law officers could quickly get to him and render aid.

The sheriff said Tuesday morning that if things went well that day, Witt would probably undergo surgery. The suspect was in the Osage County jail Tuesday morning, Virden said.