DeWitt, Mich. — A DeWitt Township police officer injured in the line of duty was fired last Thursday while recovering from his injuries.
Bob Stump worked for the department for more than 13 years and in January of 2020, during a high-speed chase, a woman slammed her car into his cruiser.
Police say the woman was going around 70 miles per hour during the chase when Stump pulled his car in the way and put his life on the line.
He suffered a broken leg and shattered hip. For his heroics, he was named Officer of the Year, but now, he’s struggling and wondering why he was let go.
“Right after my accident, you know my chief was on the news saying how I was a hero,” Stump said through his tears.
Those who saw the crash or even heard of it, lined up to thank him.
“People stepped up with like blankets and plaques,” said his wife, Molly. “There were multiple witnesses after the accident that said had he not been there and taken that hit, they could have been killed.”
Stump was rushed to Sparrow Hospital, where he stayed for days before getting surgery to save his hip.
He stayed in a wheelchair for three months and has been rehabbing ever since.
“You’re a cop from when you leave work until you get back,” he said, talking about the significance of his job to his identity. “You’re a cop off duty, on duty… That’s what I’m struggling with.”
After two years of COVID delays and figuring out workers comp, he finally has his hip replacement scheduled for May. He was hoping to get medically cleared to re-join the force after that.
“Working towards that, getting this surgery, it was like yes, finally, I have something finally definite, I’ll be back to work,” he said. “And it was so close.”
But instead, last Thursday, he was fired.
The reason? Stump says the city manager told him two years was long enough to rehab.
Stump says the implication was the township can no longer afford to pay him.
“I’ve got awards I can show you of officer of the year, life-saving awards,” Molly said. “And no thanks? It’s written on his termination at the bottom ‘thank you for your sacrifice.'”
Stump says the bond is still strong with his fellow officers, who are shocked at what happened.
“They can’t believe it, they don’t believe it, I get text messages still days later saying I can’t believe what happened to you,” Stump said.
“They’re not happy,” Molly said. “They know this isn’t right, this is not how you treat someone who has clearly given up so much that is trying to get back to work.”
6 News reached out to the city manager and police chief who both say they cannot comment on personnel matters.
As for what’s next, there’s a township meeting next Monday where the stumps say they plan to go appeal the decision.