Ind. paramedic charged with driving ambulance while intoxicated

The paramedic told police he had taken over-the-counter cold medicine and some prescribed drugs before hitting another rig outside a senior care facility


By Laura French

RIPLEY COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana paramedic faces multiple charges, including felony official misconduct, after allegedly driving an ambulance while intoxicated.

Police received a call in October reporting that Ripley County EMS Paramedic Paul Robert Heon, 49, seemed to be having trouble operating the rig outside of an assisted living facility, missing the facility’s driveway, driving on a grassy area and hitting another parked ambulance while apparently on a medical run, according to The Versailles Republican.

Heon was transported to the hospital for evaluation, with EMS providers checking his blood sugar and for signs of stroke in transit.

In the emergency room, an Indiana State Patrol trooper performed field tests and questioned Heon, who told the trooper he had not had anything to drink but had been taking over-the-counter medication for a cold as well as prescribed medications, including Ambien.

Heon later told law enforcement officials he remembered going out on a call but did not remember going to the senior facility, and that he didn’t realize until after he exited the ambulance and people were staring at him that he was feeling foggy and “felt like he was going sideways,” The Versailles Republican reported. Heon told police he had been dealing with a cold for about two weeks.

After a toxicology report, Heon was charged with official misconduct, which is a level 6 felony, operating a vehicle while intoxicated and operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, and operating a vehicle with a schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite in the body.

The exact toxicology results were not publicly reported.    

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