Oklahoma DHS child abuse hotline employee fired after leading police on pursuit, allegedly while on the job

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The suspect from a lengthy, slow-speed pursuit in Northwest Oklahoma City on Friday has been identified as an employee of a DHS Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline who was allegedly working at the time of the pursuit. 

“Well I guess he got caught,” Randi Haley said on Friday, after witnessing the end of a slow-speed pursuit in NW OKC. 

43-year-old Caitanya Champion was handcuffed and hauled off the jail on Friday after leading OCPD officers on a lengthy, slow-speed pursuit. 

“It’s rare anything like that happens over here,” Makaylah Fleming said. 

According to police, officers stopped Champion at NW 23rd and Ross after noticing he had no tags on his vehicle. 

“When the officer approached the vehicle, the driver refused to give him identification and a driver’s license,” MSgt. Gary Knight with OCPD said. 

According to the police report released on Monday, Champion told the officer he was a traveler and did not have to show the officer his driver’s license. He said he was “exercising his right to travel freely.”

“Then the driver simply drove away, which initiated a pursuit,” Knight said. 

Chopper 4’s cameras captured it. 

At one point, Champion stopped at the McDonalds at 6700 N. May and got out of the car, yelling at the officer that “he is Lord” and that the officer should “get on his knees before him.” 

He then got back in his car and the pursuit continued, according to police. 

It eventually ended in the parking lot of a Walmart at Britton and Penn. 

Officers confiscated a rifle, handgun and 600 rounds of ammunition from his trunk. 

“It’s unclear exactly what he was planning on doing with all of that, if anything.” Knight said. 

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After the arrest, News 4 received an anonymous email, saying Champion was a OKDHS employee of the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline and was working and on duty at the time of his arrest. 

Officials with DHS released the following statement: 

“OKDHS employees provide help and hope to one in four Oklahomans each year and our agency maintains very high standards and expectations for our employees. The actions of Mr. Champion do not represent our agency or the more than 6,000 employees across the state who work tirelessly to support their fellow Oklahomans. Mr. Champion was terminated effective May 10. He was formerly a Child Welfare Specialist working at the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline. At no point in his work did Mr. Champion have direct contact with customers of the agency.”

Champion was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on several complaints, including attempting to elude police. 

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