Dash-cam video, E911 call detail confusion
Before Dr. Bhagwan Bang was stopped by Opp Police and charged with reckless driving last September, he was instructed by a dispatcher both to stop, and that police would follow him to the hospital.
The Opp Police Department released a dash-cam video yesterday, and The Star-News also obtained a recording of Dr. Bang’s call to E911. Collectively, they detail the confusion around the incident in which Dr. Bang was charged with reckless driving, driving on the wrong side of the road, and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle. He was responding to an emergency at Andalusia Regional Hospital, where a newborn baby was not breathing. The baby died two days later.
The recording is of a phone call Bang made to E911, notifying them that he was en route to ARH and was being followed by a policeman.
Bang tells the operator he is being followed by a policeman and asks her to “tell them I have an emergency at the hospital.”
The operator connects Bang via a phone call to the Opp dispatcher, who answered on the sixth ring. Bang explains that he has an emergency.
The dispatcher tells Bang, “Hey. They said to stop. Stop right now.”
He replies, “I can’t stop right now. The baby is bad.”
Later, the dispatcher said, “Hey. They gone follow you to the hospital, but slow down.”
Bang replies that he is driving carefully.
“I have to reach them,” he says.
Assistant Police Chief Kevin Chance is patched through, and tells Bang that he is putting other people at risk.
“They can arrest you for reckless endangerment,” he says.
In the dash-cam video released by OPD, it appears that officers think Bang has the baby with him.
One says, “I have the subject stopped right here in front of Pop’s Place. Be advised he has no baby on board with him. There’s no baby in there.”
Later, the officer is heard talking on the phone. “He just would not stop for me, now,” he said. “We’re running 90 to 100 miles per hour. He just would not stop for me. “
A woman’s voice explains, “They said they called him for an emergency.”
An officer replies, “I don’t give a damn. He ain’t driving these roads like that.”
The officer is instructed to let Bang go, and hold his license.
Then a dispatcher says says, “I talked to Andalusia Hospital, they need him ASAP in reference to a child that was just born, in critical condition. They need him ASAP.”
An officer, who can’t be heard, appears to be sternly reprimanding Bang before he lets him leave. He then walks back toward his vehicle.
“I’ve done had me enough of him,” he says.
The video indicates that Bang was stopped about 4 and a half minutes. Previously, he said he was stopped 15 minutes, and an Opp officer testified in city court he was stopped for 8 to 10 minutes.
Opp agreed yesterday to drop the charges if Bang completes traffic school.