Police: Man high on nitrous oxide crashed into fire station, attacked EMT

The man is also accused of ramming his car into a smoke shop earlier to steal the nitrous oxide cartridges


Jacob Pucci
Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

MATTYDALE, N.Y. — A Syracuse man rammed his car into a smoke shop to steal nitrous oxide cartridges, got high and then tried to choke an emergency medical technician who came to rescue him, deputies said.

Andrew Kinel, 30, now faces a slew of charges in the Monday morning saga, including felony assault and burglary.

A man is accused of ramming his car into a smoke shop to steal nitrous oxide cartridges, inhaling the nitrous oxide to get high, crashing his car into the Mattydale Fire Department station and attacking an EMT who tried to help him. (Photo/Mattydale Fire Department)
A man is accused of ramming his car into a smoke shop to steal nitrous oxide cartridges, inhaling the nitrous oxide to get high, crashing his car into the Mattydale Fire Department station and attacking an EMT who tried to help him. (Photo/Mattydale Fire Department)

The drama began when Kinel rammed his car into the front doors of Zonen Limited smoke shop, 6697 Old Collamer Road, according to Onondaga County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jon Seeber. After busting into the business, Kinel stole nitrous oxide cartridges, also known as “whippets," which were created for whipped cream dispensers.

Kinel then drove off down East Molloy Road to the Mattydale Fire Department, located at 172 East Molloy Road. It’s unclear if he inhaled the nitrous gas before or after arriving at the fire station, Seeber said.

Kinel crashed the Mazda 6 sedan he was driving into the building. When the EMT — who had just arrived at the station — responded, Kinel was in an unconscious stupor behind the wheel.

The EMT tried to get Kinel to wake up and checked to see if he was injured.

Kinel did not immediately come to, but after several minutes, he woke up and immediately started fighting the EMT, Seeber said.

At one point, Kinel choked the EMT, Seeber said.

911 dispatchers received an emergency distress call from an EMT’s portable radio and immediately sent sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies arrived at the fire station around 7:09 a.m. and arrested Kinel. The 22-year-old EMT suffered a neck injury and cuts and was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center for treatment. Kinel complained of chest pain and was also taken to St. Joseph’s.

Kinel was charged with second-degree assault, first-degree criminal tampering, third-degree burglary and second-degree criminal mischief — all felonies — as well as criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation and petit larceny, both misdemeanors.

He is being held in Onondaga County Justice Center pending virtual arraignment this afternoon.

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©2020 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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