Man accused of sexually assaulting FDNY EMT released amid ongoing investigation
FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay called the release of the suspect without charges "unacceptable"
Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark has announced that all charges have been dropped against the man accused of sexually assaulting an FDNY EMT, stating that surveillance footage shows the man having a legitimate medical emergency. Read more here.
By Laura French
NEW YORK — The man accused of sexually assaulting an FDNY EMT during a three-alarm blaze last week has been released from jail without charges as the Bronx District Attorney's Office continues its investigation.
Officials said Aaron Cervantes-Mejia, 52, was released from custody on Thursday night, the same day he was arrested for allegedly faking a medical emergency, flagging down an EMT and then grabbing her inappropriately as she tried to help, according to the New York Daily News.
A Bronx District Attorney's Office spokeswoman said the office chose to defer prosecution for further investigation, but that the case against Cervantes-Mejia was not dismissed.
Cervantes-Mejia initially faced charges of forcible touching and sex abuse. FDNY officials said last week that they planned to urge the district attorney to also prosecute Cervantes-Mejia under a law passed five years ago that makes assaulting an EMS worker a felony.
FDNY EMS Local 2507 President Oren Barzilay said the five-year-old law has never been enforced. In both a statement to the New York Daily News and in a statement issued last week addressing the assault, Barzilay criticized New York City and state leaders for failing to protect FDNY EMS providers.
Barzilay responded to the news of the deferred prosecution on Facebook, writing, "Unacceptable. This is not over."