News 12 First at Five / Thursday, May 17, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A Richmond County deputy is recovering in a Virginia hospital after doctors believe he suffered a stroke while on his motorcycle Wednesday morning.
The group of deputies were driving back from National Police Week in D.C. While many of them are back home now, their thoughts and prayers are still in Virginia with Deputy Perry Price.
Deputy Peter Bunch is just back from his trip to D.C. for National Police Week. News 12's cameras were there as about a dozen deputies made the trip to honor fallen Deputy J.D. Paugh.
"It was my first time going up, but it hit home for me ... a close friend and a fellow officer that died in the line of duty," Bunch said.
But now the Sheriff's Office is thinking about another close friend and fellow officer. On the drive home Wednesday, Price suffered a stroke while on his motorcycle.
"Cpl. Wright said that they were going down the interstate when all of a sudden when Deputy Price stopped and pulled off on the side of the road," said Richmond County Lt. Paul Johnson.
"I couldn't imagine how it was for him. I know we were very concerned," Bunch said.
When Price had a hard time speaking, they called 911.
"The local fire department, ambulance service, the county sheriff, the city police and the Virginia state troopers all showed up," Johnson said.
And apparently, those Virginia law enforcement agents have not left his side at Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville, Va.
"It's a big brotherhood. You don't realize it until something happens, but law enforcement community is a large brotherhood nationwide," Bunch said.
And this wasn't Price's first trip to National Police week, although it may have been the most personal.
"He went every single year to commemorate the fallen officers across the nation," Bunch said.
"I think this year was more important to him because of the passing of J.D. Paugh and so that's why he wanted to make sure he could get up there with the rest of the group," Johnson said.
Now his fellow officers are hoping to see Price back on his feet and back on patrol.
"I hope he recovers quick and comes home," Bunch said.
Price's condition is unknown at this time. Of course his co-workers are so grateful he did not wreck his bike when he got ill. We're told doctors are working to get him stable before hopefully transporting him home to a hospital in this area.