It seems like it was in another lifetime that I was the police reporter for The Oklahoman. I can’t remember the first time I met John Waldenville, but the impression he made on me was always the same – he was a class act who stood out in a county operation that isn’t always up to snuff. John was no slouch – he’s a bright guy, an MBA who decided to make law enforcement his life career. John certainly didn’t take the job to get rich – I remember doing one story where I discovered a county commissioner’s political aide was making twice as much as John (it was 2003 and John was earning a relatively meager $43,000 a year). I’m certain that wasn’t a day that Sheriff John Whetsel didn’t thank God above for John, considering how he filled a key role in overseeing the complex financial operations of the jail and running a county wide law enforcement agencies. I’ll be the first to admit I was often a pain in the butt for John with my open records requests and inquiries in the office’s finances. But John was always the professional. So it was devastating when I heard that he had been shot in an ambush while he did a deposit for the legendary Cattleman’s Steakhouse in Stockyards City. The district, of course, is coming to his aid as he recovers at the hospital:
Oklahoma City, OK, June 7, 2011 – Stockyards City Main Street and Cattlemen’s Steakhouse to hold benefit fundraiser for Sheriff Major John Waldenville.
In the early morning hours of May 21, off-duty Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Major John Waldenville was ambushed and shot while working off-duty as a security guard for Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. Waldenville remains in intensive care at OU Medical Center. He has lost permanent vision in his right eye as a result of the shooting as well as suffering severe head and facial wounds. Waldenville’s recovery looks extremely promising but has a long road of recovery ahead.
Our community has been shaken by this incident but has come together in full force in support of Major Waldenville and wish to help him and his family in any way we can. Stockyards City Main Street is partnering with Cattlemen’s Steakhouse to hold a benefit fundraiser to raise funds for his recovery. On June 20, we will be holding a “Taste-of-Oklahoma City” in Cattlemen’s Event Center (1323 S Agnew), from 5pm-7pm. Tickets will be $50.00 and 100% of the proceeds from the event will go directly to Major Waldenville’s care. Restaurants who will be featured at the event include Jamil’s Steakhouse of Oklahoma City, Petroleum Club of Oklahoma City, Old Germany Restaurant, Western Concepts (“The Coach House,” “Sushi Neko,” “Musashi’s Steakhouse”), Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, La Baguette Bistro of Oklahoma City, and the Iguana Lounge. Other sponsors include Thirst Wine Merchants, Premium Brands, Glazer’s of Oklahoma, Choc Beer Company, Oak Vineyard Wines, Cantina Beer, and Ben E. Keith of Oklahoma.
We are also collecting donations for a silent auction that will take place during the event.
To make a donation or for more information including ticket sales, please go to our website here or contact the Stockyards City Main Street office at 405-235-7267.