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Charges Dropped Against EMT Accused Of Letting Woman Die

Eutisha Rennix Died While EMT Melisa Jackson Was On Break

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A stunning development has surfaced in an official misconduct case against an emergency medical technician.

Eutisha Rennix, 25, was six months pregnant when she collapsed from an asthma attack at a Brooklyn coffee shop in 2009. EMT Melisa Jackson and her boyfriend, also an EMT, were taking a break at the coffeehouse at the time.

Despite being feet away, Jackson was accused of not helping Rennix, who later died.

But as CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis reported, the charges against Jackson have now been dropped.

Rennix’s mother remained furious about the circumstances of her daughter and unborn grandchild’s death. She said the system has failed.

“How could you sleep at night comfortable, knowing you could have, could have helped; waited and helped?” said Rennix’s mother, Cynthia Rennix.

On Tuesday, official misconduct charges were dropped against Jackson, a 27-year-old dispatcher.

She and her boyfriend allegedly walked out of the Au Bon Pain during the December 2009 incident as Rennix passed out in the back room.

Rennix died on the floor. Her baby died later.

“Yeah, they were on their coffee break having grand time, she and her boyfriend, rather than doing the human thing, saving a life,” Cynthia Rennix said.

Jackson’s attorney, Benjamin Heinrich, said the FDNY and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office never had a case, denying Jackson ignored the department’s flag down rule requiring an on-duty EMT to treat a person in distress and notify dispatch.

“It’s a shame it took the district attorney more than three years to admit my client did nothing wrong,” Heinrich said in a statement. “She did help the victim by calling her dispatch center directly, identifying herself, her ID number, and the location for assistance. She helped.”

But Rennix’s mother said Jackson still didn’t treat her daughter, and said Jackson ignored her.

“I think she should have used her knowledge that she does have to help,” Cynthia Rennix said.

In a statement, FDNY Commissioner Sal Cassano said he expects on-duty members to provide treatment anytime, and said anything short of that is unacceptable.

Jackson was still on the job in a non-public role as of Monday. The FDNY was to conduct an internal investigation.

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