Home News County pulls health insurance for deputy who was ambushed, shot 4 times

County pulls health insurance for deputy who was ambushed, shot 4 times

937
35
SHARE


By Andy Wolf

On December 3rd of 2015, Deputy Mike “Hutch” Hutchinson of the Deuel County Sheriff’s Department exited his patrol vehicle to serve an arrest warrant on suspect Neil Stretesky, who was wanted for Failure to Appear and Felony Attempted Murder charges.

With his backup at the bottom of the hill that overlooked part of Big Springs Nebraska, Hutchinson shifted his jacket in the cool winter air as he walked to the back of his vehicle to retrieve his ballistic gear.

Suddenly, he was faced with something no officer ever wants to face- an ambush.

Finding himself face to face with a shotgun-armed Stretesky, he was instructed to surrender his service weapon. When he refused, a shot was fired, causing the shotgun to malfunction. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Hutchinson attempted to wrestle the shotgun from Stretesky, turning the altercation into a ground battle.

Then it happened: Hutchinson was shot four times with a 9mm pistol.

Hutchinson doesn’t remember being shot more than once. He doesn’t remember deputies driving up the hill to reinforce him or Stretesky being killed by one of two shots fired from the Sheriff’s AR15. He doesn’t remember being medically evacuated, driven by ambulance for 33 miles, or being kept alive by skilled paramedics and doctors.

Credit: Prayers for Deputy Mike "Hutch" Hutchinson Facebook page
Credit: Prayers for Deputy Mike “Hutch” Hutchinson Facebook page

What 52-year-old Hutchinson does remember -and will likely never forget- is that Deuel County turned their back on him by faltering on whether or not to pay for the insurance he needs to recover and support his family.

“It really hurts,” the 25-year veteran of law enforcement told LEO Affairs. “I made a commitment, swore an oath and did my duty. When I signed up, they said ‘Mike, we’re gonna give you x amount of pay, health insurance, retirement and life insurance. I made a commitment to them, they have backed out of their commitment to me. ”

Instead of backing up their officer, the poorly-funded county canceled the health insurance he and his wife depend on, leaving them with a COBRA fee that runs about $1,500 a month.

13325656_1804071796491636_6663622293862436546_n
Credit: Prayers for Deputy Mike “Hutch” Hutchinson Facebook page

During his treatment, Hutchinson found himself fighting everything from the deadly c.diff infection to the county commissioners who have remained largely apathetic to his precarious position in regards to cutting his benefits.

“My son pointed out to the commissioners that there are policies concerning stuff like this,” Hutchinson said with a betrayed tone. “They didn’t even know what the policy was.”

When asked if the commissioners put the matter to a vote, Hutchinson said that they merely put the matter off. When his attorney asked when they would address it, County Attorney Joel Jay put it plainly.

“He said ‘we’re not gonna make a decision,’ Hutchinson recalled. ‘Ever.”

According to the wounded Deputy, the case itself was poorly managed. No records exist of either medical professionals or the State Police -in charge of the investigation- even recovering the 9mm slugs found inside Hutchinson for the purpose of evidence.

“[The investigator] did a piss-poor job,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson feels that Deuel County has neglected him, from the moment of when they sent him alone into an ambush to when he found his insurance and benefits were cancelled.”

“You know the expression from the military, ‘I’ve got your six?” the eight-year Army veteran asked with disappointment in his voice. “I expected them to be there. My six never felt more open when I was ambushed.”

Hutchinson says even Sheriff R. Scott DeCoste -who shot Stretesky- failed to back him up in the Commissioner’s meeting.

“He’s riding the fence about the whole thing,” the Deputy said. “Didn’t say a damn word in the meeting. When it was over, he just walked away.”


Hutchinson hopes to recover and get back to work, though he is not sure in what capacity or with whom it will be for. Until then, he hopes that justice will be served.

“I left my blood on that hill for Deuel County,” he said. “I just want my commissioners to do the right thing.”

© 2016 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at info@brightmountainmedia.com

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.

35 COMMENTS

  1. This is absolutely appalling. Whoever managed his case should be fired, and their ass should be sued for all of his costs and then some.

    What an utterly pathetic agency… letting one of your own down like this. Shame on you. I hope in your most dire hours of need, YOU are all left abandoned and drowning in debt. Maybe then you’ll appreciate the needless pain you’ve inflicted upon this man who was doing the job you all asked of him to do.

  2. Thought Obama said this could not happen under Obamacare? Also where is state workmans como at?? Sue the hell out of everyone of them.

  3. I am mortified. This is a let down so enormous I can’t even find words. Why on eafth are they tuning their back on an officer who sacrificed everything in the line of duty?!?!?!?!? Horrible, horrible!

  4. Let them know how you feel.
    Deuel County Board of Commissioners:
    Jerome Radke (308) 889-5160
    Steven Fischer (308) 874-2455
    William Klingman (308) 874-3290

    Sheriff R. Scott DeCoste (308)874-3305
    Fax:(308)874-2994

  5. Your fellow deputies should back you also, and not like your Sheriff did at that meeting. Lawsuits would be easily filed by you, and won by you.

  6. This should not stand. The commissioners should be forced to provide him and his family with the health care that was promised. What ever happened to honor?

    • @Karen: That got Flushed ages ago. So very, very few have it- and so very, very many have chosen the path of disgrace.

  7. What this county did is absolutely illegal. He was still on payroll and in fact is still covered by, at the very least, workman’s comp. You cannot drop coverage on one member on payroll unless ALL coverage is dropped on ALL members.

  8. Right wing, left wing, liberal, progressive or conservative…….if you trust ANY politician you’re a fucking idiot.

  9. Staunchly republican county. 12 times a many voted for Trump as voted for Bernie. Republican voters seem to outnumber Democratic 10 to 1. But you are surprised they would burn an employee?

  10. Uhhh…. As a taxpayer at 1500 a month divided by everyone in the town paying taxes. I’m willing to pay for that! Shot in the line of duty? THere should be some type of contingency for care by the town. If I was the cops in that town. I would take my time getting to any politician’s house. They’re all scum.

  11. Amazing that every law enforcement officer in that county is not at the next hearing, threatening to walk off the job.

  12. if this was a suspect who got an ambulance chasing layer and claimed he was treated badly the county would settle in a minute just to get rid of it! What a pathetic bunch of politicians you guys are!!!!!!!!!!

  13. So…we can pay for illegals insurance but we can’t pay for a man who was injured in the line of duty? Someone needs to change their priority!

  14. This can’t be. How could an agency do this to one of their own? You need to contact every newspaper and put it on every social media site there is. That agency needs to be outed all over the planet and it will also open the doors to people who want to help.

  15. Not sure how they can drop his insurance. Did they fire him???? I would file a law suite. Also it would be a workman’s comp claim so he should still be covered under that.

    This goes to show you how our Government treats all of our heroes. I wish you the best and a speedy recovery.

  16. Don’t they have Workers Compensation in that State. The incident was job related and all medical expenses and any permanent disability should be covered. Guess they don’t have a union there either. At least he has an attorney and should have no trouble winning in court. The Sheriff sounds like a real ass hole. Bet his Deputies really respect him?

    • He is covered by work comp! They are just dropping insurance on him and his wife! So if anything else would happen to them they have insurance! Like an accident or his wife would fall and break her arm etc. etc….

  17. This is crap. Could you image if a Marine was shot while in combat and when they came back to the US. The government said, “We are not going to pay for your health insurance.” The outcry would be heard everywhere. I think the Police/Sheriff should get the same benefits as a military member does when they get injured fighting for our county.

    If you do not think it is the same thing. Then strap on a bullet proof vest everyday you do to work.

  18. Thus makes no sense to me, Americas are paying medical bills for teens having babies and for illegal immigrants and for legal immigrants and also anyone on welfare, why don’t we pay for the state workers, these men and woman on the board are his peers, what’s wrong with them. They are the people that are screwing up America

  19. Suck it up buttercup, you are the one who signed up for this job. You got hurt and now are acting like a PTSD dependa and expect everyone to pay your way. Good job on alienating your fellow LEO’s.

    • Hey John, ever done a job like that? You’re the buttercup and an idiot to boot. If you’ve never walked the walk, go and sign up and then voice you’re opinion. Until then, you pos, shut the f up. He’s not asking for a hand out, he’s asking for what’s his, and that is this sheriffs office and these bunch of do nothing no nothing commissioners get off their dead asses and pony up. He stepped up..
      now its their turn

  20. I do not understand how this is his health plans responsibility anyway. Everytime I got hurt in the line of duty it workman’s comp. My healthcare plan was never involved at all.

  21. WHAT KIND OF SHERIFF’S DEPT ARE YOU, THAT TURN YOUR BACK ON ONE OF YOUR OWN???
    A MAN THAT HAS GIVEN HIS BEST YEAR’S TO SERVE AND PROTECT!!!!!!!
    FOR THAT MATTER, WHAT KIND OF PLACE, TOWN, OR CITY, IS IT??? THAT TURNS THEIR BACK ON SOMEONE WHO HAS GIVEN THEIR ALL TO SERVE AND PROTECT EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!
    A BUNCH OF HIPOCRITICAL, UNGRATEFUL, CITIZEN’S.. I’LD BE ASHAMED TO EVEN CALL THAT PLACE MY. SO THANKFUL IT’S NOT!!!!!
    SHAME ON ALL OF YOU…
    KARMA’S A REAL BITCH, AND WHAT COME’S AROUND GOES AROUND..
    THE UNIVERSE WILL MAKE SURE OF THAT..

  22. This is BS!!!! The man made a sacrifice so that he could protect his city and the people in it!!!! We have some people on free health care rides because they don’t want to work or they are popping out 10 kids with no daddies to take care of them, but his guy gets nothing for his service to protect civilians!!!! Makes me sick!!!

  23. This is an Inconceivable act by the county officials! The Officer’s Insurance Should Be Reinstated!
    If he doesn’t get the Insurance he should Sue the county for all he can get! Then when he is well enough to go back to duty he should QUIT! Plus file a case for PTSD from his Trauma!
    Good Luck Officer, I hope that you get your Insurance reinstated!

  24. Yup, sounds like Nebraska. The only priorities Nebraskans know is Huskers football, and passing you only to slow down 1/2 mile ahead.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here