Former Deputy Falls Ill After Battery Spill in Patrol Cruiser

SEARCY, AR -- Bruce Menser says he needs a pile of prescription meds and two inhalers just to make it though the day.
He can't drive, work or spend much time outdoors.

"I am a burden to my wife and family now," Menser says.

It wasn't always like this.  Menser became a deputy with the White County Sheriff's Office in 2011 and graduated from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in September of last year.

"Just days before I graduated we ran a 5k," Menser said.  "No issues."

Menser says his world came tumbling down on December 16th, 2013.

"I was serving some civil papers, doing some security checks," he said.  "I just noticed things weren't right."

Unbeknownst to him, Menser says a battery in the trunk of his cruiser malfunctioned, spilling toxic chemicals.

"All these chemicals and fumes in the air... I inhaled them," he explained.

A stack bills tell the tale of a slew of trips to the hospital and to see specialists.  Menser says the chemicals he inhaled affected his lungs and joints.  He says they've also caused him to have seizures.

In May, Menser was administratively terminated by the department because his leave ran out.  Then went his workman's compensation and medical insurance. 

With only one income, Menser and his wife say the bills are mounting.
He says there's about 30 days worth of prescription meds left.  Getting more will cost more than $1,000 a month.  Money that they don't have.

Chief Deputy Phillip Miller with the White County Sheriff's Office said Sunday that the department is aware of Menser's claims, but that the department has been advised by its attorney not to comment.

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