Man sentenced for drug-fueled paramedic attack

The man, who was on synthetic marijuana, kicked a paramedic in the head, knocking him out and giving him a concussion


ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man who attacked a paramedic in August while he was high on synthetic marijuana was sentenced to prison.

The Morning Call reported paramedic Michael Zimpfer was attempting to place Angel Villafane-Guzman, 37, into the back of his ambulance when he became combative and kicked Zimpfer in the head.

"The last thing I remember was getting him to the door. The next thing I remember is laying on the floor, my co-worker and police officers trying to help me up," Zimpfer said.

After knocking Zimpfer out, Villafane-Guzman kicked an officer in the leg, punched another  in the arm and ribs and bit another. Following the bite, one of the officers used a Taser to subdue him.

In February, Villafane-Guzman pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault and resisting arrest. On Monday, he apologized to Zimpfer in court and blamed his actions on the synthetic marijuana.

"That night I did not have any intent to hurt nobody. Stuff got out of hand," Villafane-Guzman said.

Villafane-Guzman's attorney, Robert Sletvold, argued his client suffers from asthma and anxiety and that those conditions, combined with the drugs, caused him to act out.

"This is not someone who is violent," Sletvold said. "In his paranoid, K2-inflicted mind, he panicked."

District Attorney Bethany Zampogna said Villafane-Guzman should be held accountable for his actions regardless of the drugs.

"There's a reason voluntary intoxication is not a defense," Zampogna said. "He injured three professionals in our community who protect us. Now it's time we send a message that we protect them."

Zimpfer, who sustained a concussion from the assault and was out of work for six months following the attack, said synthetic marijuana is a major concern for first responders.

"It just makes people crazy," he said. "They have superhuman strength that's uncontrollable. It's putting police officers and paramedics and doctors and nurses in emergency rooms in danger of being injured."

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