Wichita police Officer Brian Arterburn, a 25-year veteran of the force, is the officer who was run over Tuesday by a man fleeing authorities investigating a stolen vehicle case.
The Wichita Police Department released his name Wednesday afternoon in an e-mail. Arterburn sustained injuries to his chest, abdomen and brain, according to the news release.
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James Haan, medical director of Via Christi Hospital St. Francis’ Level 1 trauma center, said Arterburn was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon after undergoing emergency surgery on Tuesday.
A suspect in the case was arrested and booked into jail Tuesday night on suspicion of attempted murder and theft.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said Arterburn’s condition had improved from a day earlier.
“He’s doing a lot better than (Tuesday),” said Livingston, who choked up during part of his statement. “He has a lot of injuries to overcome.
“It’s a little emotional. We were afraid we were going to lose him.”
Arterburn has been a member of the department’s Patrol South unit since 1999, where he is listed as a “beat 23” first-shift officer, according to the department’s website. Beat 23 encompasses an area in south Wichita from Broadway to I-135 and from Kellogg to Harry.
He was awarded the Bronze Wreath of Merit and the Bronze Wreath of Valor. In 2001, he was recognized as the officer of the year, and in 2005, he was awarded the Silver Wreath of Valor, the police department’s second-highest award.
Capt. Jeff Weible, in a statement on the department’s Facebook page, said Arterburn is a “hard worker who is respected by his peers and supervisors.”
“He is always dedicated to keeping his community safe and has a good sense of humor, keeping a serious job in perspective."
Livingston, the deputy chief, said, “It’s been pretty tough on the officers who had to come into work (Wednesday). I think they’re in about as good of spirits as they could possibly be.”
Arterburn was struck near the intersection of Topeka and Kinkaid shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Officers were in the area investigating a report that a 2016 black Chevrolet Tahoe had been stolen from Eddy’s Chevrolet Cadillac at 8801 E. Kellogg and were looking for a suspect who had active felony warrants.
After Arterburn was struck, a second officer fired a shot at the fleeing vehicle, Deputy Chief Jose Salcido said Tuesday.
Justin F. Terrazas, 31, was arrested Tuesday night and booked on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the officer’s injuries, as well as suspicion of theft, according to police records.
The suspect parked in the 600 block of East Pawnee and fled into a business after striking Arterburn, Salcido said. He was apprehended by a police dog and his handler, with the assistance of employees inside the business.
During Wednesday’s briefing, Livingston referred to those who helped in the arrest as “heroes.”
Court and Kansas Department of Corrections records show Terrazas – who also goes by the nickname “Money” – has a lengthy criminal history.
In January 2015, a Sedgwick County judge ordered him to serve 29 months in prison and six months in jail for a 2014 burglary and misdemeanor theft in Wichita. That sentence expired in December, according to KDOC.
Terrazas also has misdemeanor convictions for driving on a suspended license, not having a tax stamp, possession of drug paraphernalia, trafficking contraband into a correctional facility and not carrying proof of auto insurance, as well as for theft when he was a juvenile, according to court records.
In 2001, when he was 15, Terrazas was convicted in Harvey County of aggravated indecent liberties for fondling a child and of aggravated criminal sodomy with a child younger than 14.
Terrazas had more than 50 disciplinary reports while he was in Kansas Department of Corrections facilities from 2007 through Dec. 5, according to records. They include insubordination, having dangerous contraband, falsifying documents, lying, fighting and battery.
How to help
Police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said those wanting to send donations on Brian Arterburn’s behalf can do so by mailing them to the local Honore Adversis Foundation, 477 N. Seneca St., Wichita, KS 67203. According to its website, the foundation provides financial assistance or services to members in good standing in the Fraternal Order of Police, Wichita, Lodge No. 5.