CMPD officer receives medal for removing IED from patient's neck

by: Peter Daut Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After nearly two decades in law enforcement, a member of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Bomb Squad calls it the strangest experience of his career: Pulling an unexploded device out of a man's neck.

"I've never seen anything like this," Sgt. Bobby Whitley said.

The Bomb Squad was called to Carolinas Medical Center's emergency room in September after an unconscious patient was airlifted to the hospital with life-threatening wounds. Whitley said the man shot himself in the neck with a homemade improvised explosive device.

"Any time you get something that somebody altered the state and developed some sort of explosive device, that's what we think of as an improvised explosive device," Whitley said.

Doctors did not operate and several ER employees evacuated. Whitley did not wear protective gear, and said it took about 15 minutes for him to safely remove the device lodged inside the man's neck using forceps.

"It was stuck, so working it out. I didn't want to do more damage than had already been done," he said.

This week, Whitley received CMPD's Medal of Valor.

Police are not releasing information on the patient, and he does not face any charges.

Eyewitness News anchor Peter Daut spoke to Whitley. We will have his story at 5 p.m. on Eyewitness News.

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