A Milwaukee man said he thought he was going to die when a mob attacked him after he accidentally hit a 3-year-old girl with his car on Monday.
The man, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the mob also attacked firefighters who arrived at the scene to help the girl.
Firefighters put their lives on the line every day, but Milwaukee Fire Chief Doug Holton said that danger is increasingly coming from the people on the ground, not from those in the buildings. Holton said this must stop.
Holton said by the time the firefighters and paramedics arrived at the scene, the mob was already in full swing.
The man who hit the girl said he bore the brunt of the group's anger. When he stopped to help, things turned ugly, he said. He said a woman set down the child and hit him.
The driver left his car running and took off down the street, he said, partly to save himself and partly to make sure someone called 911 for the girl.
"Firefighters pretty much saved him from being beaten," Holton said.
The driver of the vehicle has a broken bone beneath his right eye and a number of chipped and loose teeth from the beating.
According to an incident report, the mob turned against the firefighters and paramedics, slowing them down while they tried to help the injured girl.
"We are here to help you, and we cannot do our jobs if you attack firefighters and paramedics," Holton said.
The driver's car was also stolen from the scene. Police found it Wednesday, but the driver said the stereo was stolen and the inside was torn apart.
The girl who was hit was listed in critical condition.
Police said the driver is not expected to face charges, adding that they also cannot arrest anyone in connection with the beating because the man is not able to identify his attackers.
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