31-year-old officer suffers stroke while making arrest, department rallies in support

31-year-old officer suffers stroke while making arrest, department rallies in support
Sgt. Tayler Johnson says last Thursday, PSO Jones stopped a car on duty and suffered a stroke while trying to arrest the person. (Source: Sgt Tayler Johnson)

MORGANTON, N.C. (WBTV) - When an officer is hurt, you usually find the rest of his department behind him. Thin Blue Line.

“I’m writing about my friend and co-worker," said Sgt Tayler Johnson. "His name is Joseph Jones. He's a Public Safety Officer with Morganton Department of Public Safety. He has been at this agency for several years, is a father of three and his wife, Beth, is a Hospice nurse. PSO Jones volunteers in our community in various ways. Now, he needs our help.”

Sgt. Johnson says last Thursday, PSO Jones stopped a car on duty and suffered a stroke while trying to arrest the person. He was quickly taken to the hospital in Morganton, where he couldn’t recognize co-workers or family, process conversation or perform basic motor functions. From there, he was taken by emergency ambulance to UNC-Chapel Hill.

Law enforcement agencies escorted the ambulance the entire trip from Burke County to Chapel Hill.

Doctors at Chapel Hill determined Joseph Jones had an artery in the back of his neck dissect and travel up to his brain.

Important to note, he's young. Only 31-years-old.

“Needless to say he is extremely lucky,” Sgt. Johnson said. “We are thankful to be in a position to plan fundraisers, meal trains, etc. It’s a humbling thought to realize this outcome could have been extremely different.”

Tonight, PSO Jones is back at home. He has lots of physical and occupational therapy ahead.

Almost 40 people have signed up to provide family dinners. There's also a Go Fund Me and raffle being planned to help with medical bills.

“We want to make this transition period as carefree as possible, no matter how long,” said Sgt. Johnson. “We often hear people say, ‘We got your back,’ but sometimes it takes horrible events for those actions to be coupled with the words. In the law enforcement community the word ‘brotherhood’ is associated with our profession and I’ve seen my co-workers come together to make that a true action over the past two weeks. Our agency is a family. We go through our ups-and-downs, but always come together when it is needed most.”

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