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Video: Man struck, killed by car after EMTs mocked, released him

Paul Tarashuk was suffering from a schizophrenic episode, but the EMTs who responded to the call by sheriff deputies failed to care for him

Update: The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has concluded its investigation into the actions of first responders after Paul Tarashuk was struck and killed by a vehicle after being released by EMS. Read the updates here.

Four hours after an EMS crew released Paul Tarashuk, he was struck and killed by a vehicle; are they liable?EMS attorney David Givot, The Legal Guardian, breaks down issues of patient abandonment, negligence and responsibility.

By EMS1 Staff

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — A man who was mocked and eventually released by EMTs was killed when he was struck by a car.

WCSC 5 reported that Paul Tarashuk was suffering from a schizophrenic episode, but the EMTs who responded to a call by Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office deputies failed to care for him.

Emergency responders were alerted to Tarashuk after a truck driver placed a call to 911, telling the dispatcher, “I don’t know if you are going to believe me or not, but I just had a naked guy come walk up on me on the side of the road and I think he jumped on my catwalk.”

Bodycam footage of the incident showed one of the responding deputies telling the truck driver at the scene, “I’m getting this thing passed down. He ain’t going to jail, I promise you that. This ain’t my fish. I’ll get him some medical help.”

The conversation between the EMTs who responded to the medical request, Alison Harmon and Jamie Givens, was recorded on the deputy’s bodycam, as well. The pair demanded his name, and when Tarashuk did not respond, disparaged him.

“Stop acting stupid,” one EMT said. “You are a grown man.”

When Tarashuk still did not respond, the EMTs became exasperated.

“Tell me your name,” one EMT said. “We will let you go, so I can go back to bed.”

“She’s being serious,” the deputy said.

“I am being [expletive] serious,” the EMT said. “I’m sleepy. Give me your damn name so I can go home, for real. I am tired.”

The EMTs eventually let Tarashuk go, despite his inability to respond to their requests, which shocked Tarashuk’s mother, Cindy.

“Even though he wasn’t capable of signing himself out that he doesn’t want help, they just let him walk out of the ambulance,” she told WCSC 5.

The deputy drove Tarashuk to a different town 18 miles away and dropped him off at a closed gas station. Four hours later, the same EMS crew was called to respond after Tarashuk was hit and killed by a car.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control said both EMTs violated the EMS Act of South Carolina. Harmon’s paramedic license was suspended for 18 months, but she continues to work as an EMT. Givens’ EMT certificate was suspended for six months.