Wash. city firefighter-EMT charged with assault

Video shows Firefighter-EMT Sean Clayton grabbing a woman’s hair when responding to call outside a hospital ER

By News Staff 

PUYALLUP, Wash. — A firefighter-EMT was charged with misdemeanor assault after police received an anonymous complaint about an April 2017 incident.

According to Kiro 7, Central Pierce Fire and Rescue Firefighter-EMT Sean Clayton responded to a call at the Good Samaritan Hospital to assist a woman whose father believed she needed to be admitted to the hospital.

Hospital staff told Judi Rudolph’s father she was okay and did not need to be admitted. Her father, who had brought Rudolph to the ER, called 911 and asked for police to escort her in.

When Clayton arrived at the scene, Rudolph was sitting in the passenger side of her father’s car. A witness to the scene claimed that Clayton grabbed Rudolph by the hair, in addition to ER surveillance video capturing the incident.

Neither Rudolph nor her father reported Clayton at the time.

"I knew immediately what he did was wrong. 'Oh my gosh, you just assaulted me.' I was upset. I was shocked," Rudolph said. "The window was open. When he came by, he kicked the car and then he grabbed – right as he kicked the car – he grabbed my hair."

A Department of Health investigator contacted Rudolph six months later after an anonymous complaint was filed. Police charged Clayton with misdemeanor assault in the fourth degree.

Clayton told police he grabbed Rudolph’s hair to open her airway. He is currently on paid administrative leave until he resolves his legal issues.

CPFR officials had planned to fire Clayton in May 2018 citing repeated misconduct and violations of the philosophy and culture document. Several complaints have been filed against him, according to KIRO 7, including shouting at ER staff.

In March 2015, a case manager filed a complaint against Clayton with the Labor & Industries Department for rude and demeaning behavior.

In response to the allegations, Aaron James, union president of Local 726 released a statement.

"We are aware of these serious allegations. The matter is currently under investigation by the proper civil authorities,” the statement read. “This matter does not change the fact that firefighters continue to serve our proud public every day at fire stations throughout our district."

CPFR officials also received a tort claim for $250,000 on behalf of Rudolph.

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