Driver charged with DUI after hitting officer conducting traffic stop

Officer Jeffrey Creighton (Source: MPD)
Officer Jeffrey Creighton (Source: MPD)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Memphis police officer is in the hospital after he was hit by a car during a traffic stop.

Officials said the officer pulled over a car near Frayser Boulevard and Range Line Road around 11 p.m. Monday.

Police said a Chevy pickup truck passing by hit the officer. Police said the pickup was heading in the opposite direction and crossed the center line before hitting the officer.

The driver stayed on the scene; however he's been arrested.

Cleodis Davis, 44, is charged with DUI, vehicular assault, assault, and driving with a suspended license.

Officer Jeffrey Creighton was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and fellow MPD officers went to visit Creighton in the hospital Tuesday morning.

MPD Director Mike Rallings is upset, but is proud of his officer for protecting citizens.

"Here's a dedicated professional out trying to do a job. [He] probably saved the life of a citizen," Rallings said. "He was telling her to get out of the street and the next thing you know he's ran over. So we are praying for the officer and his family so we ask that our citizens do the same thing."

Rallings said it's important to remember officers risk their safety every day and those risks never go away.

"That wasn't the only incident," he said. We had another officer that was intentionally struck by a vehicle, so again we are going to always encourage my officers to be safe."

It's the second MPD officer injured on duty Monday.

Monday morning, an officer was hit while inside his cruiser. Officers were responding to a domestic violence call and said the woman intentionally hit the officer while resisting arrest. That officer is expected to be OK. Megan Smith, 27, is charged with aggravated assault.

"I need our judges to hold these individuals accountable," Rallings said.

WMC5 investigators looked into Davis' criminal history and found a half-dozen pages of arrests, many happening while he was behind the wheel.

It turns out Davis has a lengthy history with driving-related issues.

Davis' record shows a repeat pattern of arrest while on the road dating back to 1994. Those arrests range from driving under the influence, driving without a valid license to speeding in a school zone. Investigators identified Davis as a "habitual motor vehicle offender."

We spoke with Mayor Jim Strickland as he left Regional One Medical Center visiting the officer.

"It's just unfortunate that we've been talking about the hazards of drunk driving for a decade now and it's beyond disappointing that people still do that," Mayor Strickland said.

Davis' most recent arrest happened last January. He was arrested by Memphis police for driving with a suspended license.

A similar arrested happened in 2014. That time, a Shelby County Sheriff's deputy arrested him for driving with a suspended license and for violating his probation.

In 2013, Davis pleaded guilty to an aggravated assault charge and was sentenced to just under a year of probation.

Monday's arrest brings an additional slew of charges to Davis' rap sheet.

WMC5 contacted the owner of Brown's Lawn Care, the truck Davis was driving Monday night when Officer Creighton was hit.

He declined to talk on camera but said over the phone Davis has worked for him for the past 20 years without incident.

The owner said Davis did not have permission to be driving work truck after hours and admitted he knew of Davis' extensive criminal history.

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