NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Brooklyn assistant district attorney, who found himself on the wrong side of the law, was sentenced on Wednesday for assaulting an emergency medical technician.
EMTs turned out in support of Teresa Soler as Michael Jaccarino was sentenced to 10 days of community service for punching her in the back of an ambulance in November.
Soler said she and her colleagues felt as though Jaccarino got a pass.
“This sentence was a proverbial slap to him on the wrist and it was a slap to us in the face,” Soler told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa.
Jaccarino, who pleaded guilty to the assault charge, said he had no memory of being drunk, bleeding and walking in traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge when the ambulance picked him up.
“I want to say how much remorse and how terrible I feel for everything that happened. I have no memory of that night. No memory of being on the Brooklyn Bridge. But I have no trouble accepting responsibility for what happened,” Jaccarino said in court.
“I’m not buying it,” Soler said.
Soler was further outraged by the argument that being extremely drunk is a defense.
“They’re saying that as long as you are intoxicated, you are free to assault, maim, even kill someone because there was no intent,” she said.
Prosecutors said they did not think they could prove intent, which is required in felony assault.
Jaccarino said he feels absolutely horrible about what happened, but the apology did not sit well with the victim.
“I would tell him that I want him to close his eyes and see me every day. I want him to think of me every day. I want him to feel, even if it was for a second, the damage that he did to me,” Soler told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell, following the sentencing.
Soler said she’s now terrified to go to work, constantly scared that someone will turn on her.
“Is it gonna take somebody getting killed? Is that what it’s gonna take for the laws to change?” Soler asked.
Fellow EMTs who said their job is dangerous enough said they are upset that Jaccarino got off with such a light sentence, Cornell reported.
“His apology, he showed no remorse in his facial expression. It was just like another day, like it really didn’t bother him and that’s very upsetting to the 3,500 members that I represent,” said Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 president Israel Miranda.
At the time of the incident, Soler, 46, said she thought Jaccarino was going to kill her.
Jaccarino is currently suspended without pay. Soler said Jaccarino should be fired.
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