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R.I. firefighter-EMT on probation following fight with patient

A patient handcuffed to a stretcher reportedly kicked the responder with enough force that he was pushed out the rig’s doors and onto the ground


Photo/North Smithfield Fire & Rescue

By Leila Merrill

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Firefighter-EMT William LaBarre of the North Smithfield Fire Department is currently on probation after an altercation with a patient, WPRI reported.

On Aug. 8, 2022, Mariah Dubois, 20, was handcuffed to a stretcher due to reports of being “uncooperative.” Dubois reportedly kicked LaBarre, who then allegedly punched Dubois with a closed fist on the leg. DuBois then kicked LaBarre again, this time with enough force that he was pushed out the doors of the ambulance and onto the ground, according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.

LaBarre’s behavior “constitutes unprofessional conduct,” Health Department Emergency Medical Services Chief Jason Rhodes wrote in a Dec. 12 consent agreement that placed LaBarre on a six-month probation.

According to the Health Department, one witness said they heard LaBarre say “he was going to kill the patient,” but LaBarre denied the allegation.

LaBarre was criminally charged with simple assault and battery and disorderly conduct, both of which are misdemeanors. But in November, the North Smithfield Police Department dismissed those charges, citing LaBarre’s completion of anger management courses, according to court documents.

The firefighter-EMT has asked to have the case sealed.

“Mr. LaBarre, who has no criminal history and enjoys an unblemished service record as a firefighter, remains humbled by this experience,” LaBarre’s attorney John Calcagni said. “He is grateful for the manner by which his case was resolved and is happy to return to duty.”