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Ohio police honor those involved in rescuing wounded sergeant

Sgt. David White suffered four gunshot wounds when he responded to a domestic violence call


By Malcolm Hall
The Repository, Canton, Ohio

LAKE TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Teamwork and dedication at their best could be one way to describe the response to the shooting of police Sgt. David White on a July evening.

White, a member of the Uniontown Police Department, survived four gunshot wounds he suffered July 9 as he responded to a domestic violence call. As a result of the shooting, White was rushed to Summa Akron City Hospital.

During the Uniontown Police Department's awards ceremony, those who had a hand in rescuing the police sergeant — from his police partner, to Uniontown Fire Department paramedics and emergency dispatchers — received awards Thursday night. The ceremony was held in the West Wing banquet hall of Hartville Kitchen restaurant.

While the Police Department holds this awards ceremony annually, "a big part of it this year will be (about) this incident that happened in July," said Chief Harold Britt of the Uniontown Police Department. "He won't be back to work for another four or five months. He wants to go out on his own terms. It depends on the next couple surgeries how soon he comes back. He is a tough guy. If it wasn't for his partner and the Fire Department, he probably wouldn't be with us."

During the encounter, the perpetrator who shot White, Ryan Probst, 28, was killed during the exchange of gunfire with police.

Uniontown Police Department is under authority of Lake Township Board of Trustees.

White, 59, also was at the awards banquet. He received a purple heart medal and a medal of valor. The other police officer who arrived at the domestic violence scene received a medal of valor. He placed a tourniquet on White's arm and applied gauze material to the wounded sergeant's stomach to slow the bleeding. For security purposes, that officer requested his name be withheld.

"I was hoping to be back April 1," White said. "I got a bunch of hernias in my stomach from all the surgeries."

Other receiving awards for the rescue work involving White included three members of the Uniontown Fire Department: Assistant Chief Derek Shaffer, Lt. Jason Hamblin, Al Johnson and Jonathan Swansiger. Two dispatchers with Nimishillen Township-based CenCom (Central Communications), Chris Peterson and Jason Kroah, also received awards.

"I was at home, I responded from home," Shaffer said, recalling that evening. "It still chills to think about it. It was one of our guys. When the radio went off, and I heard that, I knew that I had to get there."

White remains uncertain if and when he will resume his law enforcement duties. A lot rests on how upcoming surgeries go.

"They said if it is reconstructive surgery, I probably would have to retire." White said. "But you know what, looking back, I probably wouldn't have done anything different."

White was accompanied by his wife, Robin, and 16-year-old daughter, Olivia.

"I am still worried for him," Robin White said. "He needs another surgery. Hopefully, we get through that."

Township Trustee John Arnold was out of the area and not at the police awards banquet. When, contacted Arnold expressed his thoughts on the performance of the Uniontown safety forces.

"I talked to the guys involved, and I couldn't be more proud," Arnold said. "We are really blessed that David White made it through. That is the most dangerous thing, a domestic violence. They walked into a hornet's nest and they are lucky to come out alive."

©2017 The Repository, Canton, Ohio

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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