September 4, 2014

Arlington officer fully recovered from gunshot

An Arlington officer lost nearly two-thirds of his blood after being shot while making an arrest in the death of 6-year-old Allana Gallagher. He says he is now fully recovered.

Arlington police officer Charles Lodatto, who was shot in the femoral artery while helping to arrest a Saginaw murder suspect in July 2013, said Thursday that he was satisfied with the suspect’s guilty plea.

“I believe Tyler Holder will have a minimum of 50 years he has to serve before he is even eligible for parole and so I think he has a long time to do some soul-searching,” Lodatto said Thursday at Arlington police headquarters.

Doctors told Lodatto, 47, that he lost two-thirds of his blood after being shot in the upper leg while helping to serve the arrest warrant on Holder, who was wanted in the murder of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher.

The little girl’s body was found bound and in a garbage bag under a tarp less than a mile from her Saginaw home. Holder was a neighbor of the Gallagher family.

Lodatto was on a Safe Street FBI Task Force, which includes police officers from several area cities, that was summoned to serve the warrant for Holder at his house.

Holder pulled a gun, and another task force member bear-hugged him in an attempt to neutralize the threat. But the gun went off, and Lodatto was struck.

Lodatto remembers blood “shooting” out of his pants, and knowing that FBI Special Agent Andy Farrell took off Lodatto’s belt and used it to tie a tourniquet on his leg.

Lodatto also remembers passing in and out of consciousness while being treated on the ground and on the way to the hospital.

Lodatto credits Farrell, Saginaw police Detective Robert Richardson and Euless officer Todd Murphy, all on the task force, with saving his life.

As close as Lodatto came to dying, he said, he fully recovered in a relatively short time, about three weeks, and has been back on the task force since October.

“I have fully recovered,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s like it never happened. God put some great people in Andy Farrell, Robert Richardson and Todd Murphy and a team of other investigators there in the right place at the right time.

“Good first responders and a great trauma surgeon put me back together real quickly,” he said.

Lodatto said he had no misgivings about rejoining the task force. Most of the work isn’t as dangerous or glamorous as people might think, especially the computer work, the 22-year veteran of the Arlington Police Department joked.

“It’s not as much of what I would call the ‘fun stuff,’ ” he said. “Reading behind a computer doesn’t take a whole lot of strength or energy.”

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