Crime & Courts

Card shower for injured police officer overwhelms organizers

Injured police officer bounces back from setbacks

After a tough few months, Officer Brian Arterburn’s condition is starting to improve again. (Courtesy of Wichita Police Department/Aug. 18, 2017)
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After a tough few months, Officer Brian Arterburn’s condition is starting to improve again. (Courtesy of Wichita Police Department/Aug. 18, 2017)

Wichita hasn’t forgotten injured police officer Brian Arterburn, who was gravely injured last March when he was run over by a fleeing suspect.

When the nonprofit organization ICT S.O.S. announced about a week ago that it was collecting cards of encouragement for Arterburn, founder Jennifer White expected to get cards from some of her regular supporters.

At last count late Wednesday night, nearly 700 cards had arrived at the organization’s headquarters.

“I had no idea that this thing was going to explode the way it did,” White said in a video posted early Wednesday evening on Facebook.

After months at Craig Hospital in Colorado, Arterburn was recently transferred to Touchstone, a rehab hospital in Texas. The road to recovery has included multiple surgeries and several setbacks, but he has learned to breathe on his own and walk again. The move to Texas is considered a significant milestone in his recovery.

The man allegedly driving the stolen SUV that struck Arterburn, Justin Terrazas, 31, is facing criminal charges of aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer and other felonies in connection with the case.

ICT SOS works closely with the Wichita Police Department in their fight to end human trafficking.

The strong response to the card shower “shows how caring people are in our city,” White said in a Facebook chat about the card shower.

Support was strong in the immediate aftermath of Arterburn being struck by a stolen SUV, but this latest display reminded White that the support isn’t short-lived.

“Even months later, given the opportunity, people rallied again to let them know they’re not forgotten,” she said. “They still have support and now lots of words of encouragement coming their way.”

ICT S.O.S. will continue to accept cards for Brian, she said.

Cards can be sent to their office:

ICT SOS

Attn: Officer Brian

1211 S. Emporia

Wichita, KS 67211

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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