EPD Capt. Jerry Bradley honored for courageous actions in line of duty
Published 9:32 am Monday, March 14, 2016
Elizabethton Police Department Capt. Jerry Bradley was recognized Thursday before the Elizabethton City Council and residents for courageous action in the line of duty.
In February, Bradley sustained gunshot wounds in a shootout in the woods with an armed suspect who had multiple warrants for his arrest.
Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander presented Bradley with a Silver Cross for sustaining serious physical injuries as a result of hostile behavior of a subject with a deadly weapon. He also presented Bradley with a Medal of Honor, the first Alexander said he had presented, which recognized his distinguished performance of official duty by an act of courage involving risk of imminent danger to his life with knowledge of the risk.
On Friday afternoon, Feb. 19, Bradley and other Elizabethton police officers were pursuing Curtis James Dugger, 31, in a wooded area of the Southside community.
According to EPD Capt. Joy Shoun, Bradley located Dugger in the wooded area, and gunfire ensued. Bradley sustained two gunshot wounds.
A federal arrest warrant had been issued charging Dugger with violation of supervised release from federal prison. Pulaski County, Virginia, had also issued a warrant for his arrest on February 17 for abduction by force of a female victim, and armed burglary with intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson.
When Bradley arrived at the Johnson City Medical Center, he said law enforcement officers and emergency responders from both Carter and Washington Counties were there to support him. EPD Chief Greg Workman said he has received calls from across the country from people checking on Bradley and his family.
Bradley addressed the Council and residents saying it has been a privilege and honor to serve the community of Elizabethton for the last 18 years, and that the outpouring of love, prayer and support have been amazing.
“It’s been nonstop for three weeks,” he said. “Everywhere I go, people stop me and ask how me and my family are doing and let us know they’re praying for us. I can’t express enough the gratitude I have for this community.”
Bradley said he was just doing his job and that he can guarantee the men and women he works with at the EPD, who lined the back wall of City Hall while he was recognized, would have taken the same actions he did that day.
“It is an honor and privilege to work with these men and women, not only them, but the county officers who showed up, the EMS who showed up — they didn’t stage and wait for the all clear, they ran through the woods to get to me, to protect me.”
Everyone who responded that day knew there was an armed subject in the woods who knew the area very well, he said.
“They put their lives at risk to save mine,” he said. “I’m the one getting an award tonight but it belongs to all these people.”