Critical patient allegedly awakes, attacks paramedics
A patient believed to be in critical condition following a car crash early Monday morning allegedly awoke, attacked paramedics and firefighters, and attempted to steal a fire engine.
Frank Keel, a spokesman for firefighters and paramedics union Local 22, said authorities responded around 5:30 a.m. to a motor vehicle collision.
As the paramedics were transporting the patient – who they believed to be in critical condition – he allegedly awoke near 19th Street and Erie Avenue and attacked the medics.
Keel said the man assaulted both paramedics in the ambulance and chased one female medic out of the vehicle and down the street.
He then allegedly threw an oxygen tank at the window of fire Engine 59, jumped in the driver’s seat and tried to steal the truck.
Keel said firefighters dragged the man from the engine.
Police then reportedly Tasered the patient, with “minimal effect,” before he was finally subdued.
“The chaotic early morning incident at 19th and Erie that began with an emergency response to a car accident demonstrates the dangers our union brothers and sisters face daily in the city of Philadelphia,” Bill Gault of Local 22 said in a statement issued Monday.
“It appears that our paramedics will be all right. Were it not for their quick thinking, valor and training, the situation could have been much worse. This criminal matter is now in the hands of the police department.”