Chicago union fuming over ruling in medic attack
"My complaint is with the system that allows this to happen"
CHICAGO — The Chicago Firefighters Union is expressing outrage that a man convicted of attacking two fire paramedics walked out of court this week with a virtual slap on the wrist. Jonathan Soto of Bartlett was charged with four counts of aggravated battery for the 2011 incident, but a Cook County judge convicted him on only a lesser misdemeanor charge.
"My complaint is with the system that allows this to happen," said union president Tom Ryan. "We are going to make it our mission to make sure that if this happens again, that we are going to do anything in our power to make sure they are punished to fullest extent of the law."
The incident in question occurred May 21, 2011, when paramedics Margaret Heckman and Michelle Martinez were called to the 300 block of west Institute Place, where a man was reportedly lying unresponsive on the sidewalk. Martinez recalled that she and her colleague assisted the man, who appeared to be intoxicated, to their ambulance and prepared to take him to the hospital. "I heard scuffling in the back, and I said, 'Margaret are you OK?'" Martinez said. "She said, 'No, he just bit me.'"
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