CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- One way police officers keep you safe is by catching criminals, but in an interesting turn of events one officer ended up saving the man accused of the crimes.
Corporal Derrick Miller, a Chapmanville police officer, was called to a truck fire early Sunday morning. However, he was only at the scene long enough to get the suspect's description before he got another call. “I was the only officer out at the time. No other back up,” Miller said.
Several breaking and entering reports just a few blocks away sent Miller rushing to that scene. That’s where he found Buddie Blevins, 20, breaking into a car and he matched the description of the arson suspect. “That's when he told me he was out stealing stuff to try to provide for his family,” Miller said.
Miller arrested him and put him in the back of his cruiser, but while he was getting statements from witnesses -- Blevins got away.
“He jumped from the backseat, cuffs behind his back, through the driver-side window, face first onto the ground and got up and took off running,” Miller said.
Miller chased Blevins down a hill, but lost sight of him. About a minute later, he heard the sound of bubbles coming from the river. “He was out probably about ten feet from the bank,” Miller said. “This is a very big deep fishing hole down here.”
So Miller jumped in, saved him and gave him CPR until an ambulance arrived. “Our job is to protect and serve; protect being number one,” Miller said. “Just because he's under arrest, he's still innocent until proven guilty.”
Miller was rewarded for saving Blevins at this week's city council meeting.
As for Blevins, he is still in jail facing a number of charges. They include obstructing an officer, fleeing on foot, battery on an officer, petit larceny, destruction of property and 3rd degree arson.
The case is still under investigation and more charges could follow.
Blevins did not want to comment about the arrest or the officer who saved him.