Ex-WH Doc: I Tried to Help at Rodeo, Things Got 'Chaotic'

GOP congressman says he was assisting during medical emergency when he was detained by cops
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2023 9:45 AM CDT
Ex-WH Doc Ronny Jackson: I Was Detained at Rodeo
Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, is seen at CPAC on March 4 at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Ronny Jackson was trained as an ER doctor, so when a medical emergency went down Saturday at a Texas rodeo, the former White House physician and current Republican congressman jumped into action—only to find himself detained and handcuffed, according to his team and witnesses. In a statement cited by NBC News, Jackson's office says he was summoned to help a 15-year-old girl who was having medical issues at the White Deer event, and that when he arrived on the scene, the teen was already receiving assistance from one of her relatives, a nurse.

Jackson's office says "there were no uniformed EMS providers on the scene at that time," and that the nurse accepted Jackson's offer of assistance. That's when, "while assessing the patient in a very loud and chaotic environment, confusion developed with law enforcement on the scene," the statement notes, adding that Jackson was "briefly detained" and "actually prevented from further assisting the patient." The statement says Jackson was "immediately released" once it was determined he was a doctor.

In a Facebook post, home health-care nurse Linda Shouse says she was helping her 15-year-old cousin, who "was seizing due to possible hypoglycemia," along with another relative who was also a nurse, when Jackson stepped in to help. Shouse tells CNN that when cops arrived, she was pushed and punched in the chest, while Jackson was screamed at. Then: "The next thing I knew, they had him on the ground, grabbed him by the shirt, threw him on the ground, face first into the concrete and had him in cuffs." Shouse also says that Jackson was soon released once it was discovered he was a doctor and congressman.

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The Texas Tribune notes it's not clear who exactly detained Jackson, as EMS workers from both White Deer and nearby Gray County were on the scene, as were Carson County deputies. In a statement, however, Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry acknowledged that one person was "temporarily detained" and that his office is "reviewing the incident." Jackson's office made sure to add that the congressman was "in the stands during the entire rodeo, in full view of the assembled crowd, and was not drinking." NBC notes "it is unclear why the office made the statement." Meanwhile, Shouse says the teen who was at the center of the medical emergency is back home and being further evaluated. (Read more Ronny Jackson stories.)

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