FDNY EMT attacked by handcuffed suspect in back of rig
Thomas Wright broke free from the gurney restraint, bit the EMT and knocked him to the ground, then began stomping on his head
By Thomas Tracy
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A young Bronx FDNY EMT was bitten, beaten and stomped on by a handcuffed suspect while trying to treat the brute in the back of an ambulance, authorities said Saturday.
The emergency medical technician, who is assigned to EMS Station 14 in Mott Haven, was treating 32-year-old Thomas Wright as the ambulance made its way to Lincoln Medical Center about 10:40 p.m. Friday when the drunken suspect managed to break free from the seat belt restraint on the gurney, bite the EMT on the shoulder and knock him to the ground, authorities said.
Wright, still handcuffed, then began stomping on the 20-year-old EMT as he lay on the floor of the ambulance, sources with knowledge of the case said.
A police officer also in the ambulance managed to subdue Wright as the ambulance continued on to Lincoln Medical Center, where doctors treated the EMT, who suffered serious injuries.
The EMT remained in the hospital Saturday. He had just recently graduated from the EMS academy, officials said.
“He’s in pretty bad shape,” a source with knowledge of the case said.
Oren Barzilay, president of FDNY EMS Local 2507, said the EMT “has more than likely suffered permanent injury that will impact his life forever.”
"Regardless of what the Mayor or stats say, the streets of New York City are getting worse, violence is on the raise against all first responders and our city is in chaos,” Barzilay said. “We’ve been saying this for two years that more needs to be done in protecting our EMS personnel. This latest incident shows further evidence of how dangerous the work is for EMS.”
Cops arrested Wright and charged him with assault, attempted assault and harassment. He is facing up to seven years in jail for attacking the EMT, thanks to a law enacted last year that ups the penalties against first responders.
“FDNY EMS members perform dangerous work thousands of times a day responding to medical calls and protecting New Yorkers," FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Saturday. “An assault on one of our brave members is a despicable act. Our thoughts and prayers are with our seriously injured EMT.”
Each FDNY ambulance has a large decal affixed to it alerting the public to the severe penalties one can receive for assaulting EMS members.
The first ambulances with the new decals were rolled out of EMS Station 26 in the Bronx, where EMT Yadira Arroyo was assigned before she was struck and killed by someone trying to steal her ambulance in March 2017.
First responders were called to Wright’s home on Mount Hope Place near Jerome Ave. shortly before the attack because the Bronx resident was heavily intoxicated and acting disorderly.
The assaulted EMT is the third EMS member to be hospitalized while on the job this week.
On Thursday, EMS Lt. Raymond Wang suffered an aortic aneurysm as he raced to help EMT Liam Glinane who suffered a stroke while driving an ambulance on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Both men have made it through surgery, but remain in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, the FDNY said.
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