WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For the first time since Officer Brian Arterburn was injured in the line of duty, KSN is hearing from some if his closest friends and paintball teammates.
Arterburn’s teammates said he’s a fighter, a witty person who doesn’t back down from a challenge.
“He’s just always having fun with everybody, always joking,” said Stephen Andrews.
“He’s very rambunctious,” said Clint Meyer.
“He would lighten the room,” said Eric Grep.
Arterburn’s friends describe him as someone who is full of life. They said he is more than a police officer, he’s a friend, a father, a husband and a teammate.
“I think myself and many of the other guys were very lucky to have known him and to have him not only part of our life, but part of our team and our family,” Meyer said.
When Arterburn wasn’t at work, his friends said he was often on the paintball field with his team Bad JuJu.
“His call sign is badger because he is always in the thick of things. He’s not afraid to get in there,” Andrews said.
Police said Arterburn was doing just that, getting in the thick of things in early February when a suspect ran him over with an SUV. His teammates recall the moment they found out about the incident.
“It was just very like eye-opening, surprising and tragic,” Grep said.
“It’s definitely hit home, hit hard and brought us together, a lot closer for sure,” Meyer said.
Arterburn suffered injuries to his chest, abdomen and brain. On Friday, Wichita police wrote on social media that Arterburn is recovering and will be going to rehab soon.
Arterburn’s friends said they believe he will be back where he belongs, on the streets protecting Wichitans and back on the paintball field protecting his teammates.
“It’s not a matter of if, but when he’s going to get back on the paint ball field,” Meyer said.