Patient Attacks Pa. Ambulance Medics

June 18, 2013
A patient hit by a car assaulted two paramedics in the back of a Philadelphia ambulance and tried to steal a fire truck before police were able to subdue the man.

June 18--IT STARTED as a routine run, an ambulance ferrying a seriously injured man to the hospital after he was struck by a car.

But yesterday's trip quickly became extraordinary. The patient assaulted two paramedics, then jumped out and tried to steal a fire engine before police officers responding to the medics' call for help shot the patient with a stun gun to regain control, said Frank Keel, a spokesman for the firefighters' union, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22.

It started just before 5:30 a.m., when a car hit a 40-year-old pedestrian on Roosevelt Boulevard near Berkley Street, seriously injuring him. Paramedics responded, but not long into the trip, the patient began attacking them, Keel said.

The injured man allegedly chased one medic out of the ambulance and down the street near 19th and Tioga, Keel said. He then threw an oxygen bottle at the fire engine that was following the ambulance, jumped into it and tried to drive away, but firefighters dragged him out and police shot him with a stun gun and eventually subdued him, Keel added.

A deputy fire commissioner told 6ABC that he believed the patient had been on drugs.

The two paramedics suffered minor injuries and were treated at Temple University Hospital and released. The patient remains hospitalized at Temple in critical condition, police spokeswoman Office Tanya Little said. He faces criminal charges in the assault.

Union president Bill Gault said: "The chaotic early morning incident at 19th and Erie that began with an emergency response to a car accident demonstrates the dangers our union brothers and sisters face daily in the city of Philadelphia."

On Twitter: @DanaDiFilippo


Copyright 2013 - Philadelphia Daily News

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