Father of injured football player punches paramedic

The father, who faces assault charges, felt the paramedic was not taking his high school son’s injuries seriously enough

By Rachel Engel

WEST BOYLSTON, Mass. — A man faces assault charges after allegedly punching a paramedic who was treating his son at a high school football game.

Punaloa Matavao was charged with assault and battery on ambulance personnel, disorderly conduct and threats to commit a crime after he confronted a paramedic treating his son’s knee injury, Worcester Telegram and Gazette reported.

Matavao repeatedly grabbed the paramedic’s arm, despite being instructed to stop, according to police, before punching the medic in the face with a closed fist. Members of the coaching staff converged on Matavao and restrained him until police arrived.

According to the incident report, Matavao smelled of alcohol and became belligerent with police officers, at one point using profanity.

The paramedic was transported to the hospital for his injures, and later released.

“(The paramedic) did have a confrontation with one of the patrons,” Fire Chief Thomas Welsh said. “He was evaluated and released with minor injuries. It just shook everyone up.”

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