Lawyer says medic charged with assaulting patient was following standard protocol

An attorney for the Tennessee paramedic accused of hitting and kicking an overdose patient said the paramedic was trying to revive him

By Laura French

EAST RIDGE, Tenn. — A lawyer for a Tennessee EMT accused of assaulting an overdose patient says his client was following standard protocol and attempting to revive the unresponsive man. 

Attorney McCracken Poston argues that Paramedic Bob Bennett, who was fired from CHI Memorial and charged with assault after the incident, was applying painful stimuli to see if the patient would respond, according to News Channel 9. Poston said Bennett applied a sternum rub and clavicle squeeze.

East Ridge police officers at the scene reported that Bennett asked them to leave the room before hitting the patient in the chest and kicking him. Poston said Bennett wasn't kicking the patient but pushing him with his shoe in an attempt to wake him up. He also said it is common procedure to clear an area in order to have enough room to work on a patient. 

The patient's wife had administered two doses of Narcan before first responders arrived, according to the police report. The patient later regained consciousness, was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia and transported to the hospital by police. 

Police said they heard McAllister say, "I was nice the first time, I'm not doing this anymore, and I'm about to shove a tube down his throat," according to News Channel 9. Reporters who viewed the police body camera footage said Bennett can be heard making those comments. Poston confirmed Bennett had responded to the same patient before. 

Bennett is charged with both assault and knowing abuse or neglect. He is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 17. 

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