July 9, 1999

Bravery Cited Tim McCarthey Day Honors Injured Lawman

By Robert Barron

Thursday was "Tim McCarthey Day" in Bethany, a day honoring a police officer who lost his leg as a result of injuries sustained while performing his duty.

Bethany Police Officer Tim McCarthey was struck by a motorcyclist who was trying to escape police. His injuries required two surgeries: One to amputate his left leg above the knee, the other to repair a broken left arm.

Six Bethany police officers, including McCarthey, were patrolling a local park during the annual July 4 festival. McCarthey is a member of the department's bicycle patrol.

Another Bethany officer, who was working State Highway 39, attempted to pullover a motorcyclist driving erratically. As she exited her patrol car, the motorcyclist sped away and she gave pursuit. McCarthey and other members of the bicycle patrol were attempting to warn people crossing the highway, which passed by the park, when the motorcycle came through.

Jason Michael Hollingsworth of Oklahoma City is accused of intentionally swerving the motorcycle to strike McCarthey The collision knocked Hollingsworth off his motorcycle. He attempted to run away, but was quickly apprehended. McCarthey is married to Cassie (Major) McCarthey, formerly of Duncan.

Lois Major of Duncan, her mother, said he is doing remarkably well, considering the circumstances. An Oklahoma City radio station, with the cooperation of the Bethany and Oklahoma City Police Departments, and the City of Bethany declared Thursday Tim McCarthey Day. Major said her son-in-law is in "remarkably good spirits." "He shows a lot of courage, he is an amazing person," she said.

McCarthey has not yet begun working with a prosthesis, she said. Doctors say he must accomplish more healing first. But he is up and moves around with a wheelchair by himself. He lifts weights with his good arm and does balancing exercises on a parallel bar as part of his physical therapy.

Doctors predict McCarthey will have a minimum six month recovery period before he is able to return to work, but Major said he is eager. "He is chomping at the bit. He wants to get back to work," she said.

When he returns, she said he will probably perform limited duties for a period of time, then be assigned to other duties. Cassie McCarthey was involved in an automobile accident just after the couple married in 1996, breaking several bones. She was in rehabilitation for four months, and Major said McCarthey cared for her all of the time.

"He was there for her every step of the way, and she feels now it's her turn to take care of him," said Major.