NYC EMT stabbed by patient wants to leave city
EMT Julia Taylor Fatum was stabbed in the arm, chest and leg when she asked a patient to stop throwing a gum wrapper at her
EMT Julia Taylor Fatum left Mount Sinai West hospital in Midtown — the same hospital she was attacked outside of — after having undergone multiple surgeries. Read more.
By Ellen Moynihan, Leonard Greene
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — An emergency medical technician who was stabbed in her ambulance by a patient she was helping in Manhattan is done with New York City and all its random violence, her mother said Tuesday.
Days after the first responder was stabbed in the chest, leg and arm as the ambulance approached Mount Sinai West hospital in Midtown, EMT Julia Taylor Fatum, 25, is ready to throw in the towel on treating New Yorkers.
“Now she wants out of the city, obviously,” Cara Fatum, 43, the EMT’s worried mom, told the Daily News. “This just came out of left field.”
Julia Taylor Fatum, originally from upstate Boiceville in the Catskills, has been an EMT since 2019 and was working throughout the coronavirus pandemic that gripped the city.
“Her best friend called me in the middle of the night when she was still in surgery,” her mom said Tuesday. “We quickly got everything together and rushed down there. It was terrifying.”
According to prosecutors, Fatum was rendering aid to Rudy Garcia shortly after 8 p.m. on July 19 as the ambulance was pulling into the hospital bay.
Before the vehicle stopped, Garcia threw a gum wrapper at Fatum, who asked him to stop, according to court records.
Garcia, 48, responded, “F—k you,” pulled out a kitchen knife and slashed the EMT with it, prosecutors said.
The attack left Fatum with puncture wounds to her left arm, the left side of her chest and her left leg. Doctors said she sustained significant blood loss, and she required stitches to her chest wound and emergency surgery for her left leg wounds
She also suffered nerve damage in her left arm, officials said.
“She’s had surgeries on her leg, her diaphragm and her arm,” said the EMT’s mom.
Garcia was suffering a medical episode when he was picked up and brought to the hospital, but he wasn’t suffering from any apparent emotional or mental distress, a police source said.
He was taken into custody after the attack and brought to Mount Sinai West for observation.
Cops later charged him with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing government administration.
The wounded EMT works for an ambulance company linked to Mount Sinai and is not a member of FDNY EMS, city officials said.
Her ambulance does respond to calls put out to the 911 system.
Fatum’s mother said her daughter became an EMT, after graduating from Pace University, to get experience with the city and with medical procedures to achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner.
She said the family was grateful for the emotional support Fatum has received, and for financial contributions that were made to a GoFundMe page.
“We really appreciate the people who have reached out,” her mom said. “It’s such a huge relief because she’s got a lot of debt from school at Pace. That’s why she’s worked so hard. She works doubles.”
Her nursing goals require more classroom time. She is waiting to see what schools accept her, then it’s bye-bye, Big Apple.
“She’s applied all over the country,” said her mother.
Fatum hopes her ordeal can bring about some change, the mother said.
“We really hope what happened to Julia can make some kind of change to protect EMTs,” she said. “She hasn’t said much. Her main goal, I know, is to make sure that there’s some safety changes.”
In 2017, EMT Yadira Arroyo was killed under the wheels of her own ambulance after a man allegedly high on PCP jumped on Arroyo’s rear bumper in the Bronx. Cops said that when she stepped out of the ambulance to investigate, Jose Gonzalez slid behind the wheel and took off.
He ran her over twice and dragged her into the intersection of White Plains Road and Watson Ave. while her partner desperately tried to stop him, prosecutors said.
Arroyo, 44, a mother of five and a 14-year FDNY veteran, died at the scene.