Fla. paramedics in patient ‘selfie war’ face charges
EMS workers took unauthorized photos of elderly and unconscious patients in the ambulance
OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla.— Two Florida paramedics are facing charges from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office for taking photos and videos of patients inside ambulances as part of a “selfie war” competition.
“It was a sick, juvenile game,” said Sheriff Larry Ashley at a news conference. “I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Many of the patients were intubated, intoxicated or otherwise unconscious when they were photographed, reports the Panama City News Herald.
Of the 41 patients identified by investigators, two have since passed away, and five of the patients were homeless. Three appeared to be willing participants in the selfies.
According to arrest reports, 24-year-old paramedic Kayla Renee Dubois has been charged with two felony counts of invasion of privacy. She was arrested Thursday morning in Santa Rosa County.
Active warrants have been issued for Christopher Wimmer, 33, who will face seven felony counts. Officials say Wimmer held open the eyelid of a sedated patient in order to take a selfie and posed with an elderly woman with her breast exposed.
“None of the images or videos produced by the defendant or co-defendant had any training/teaching value, and any reasonable person would conclude they were produced for amusement and entertainment purposes,” reads the arrest report.
Investigators do not believe any of the photos or videos were posted to public social media sites.