NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three EMS workers were attacked while trying to save a life in Brooklyn, and the FDNY says the person who attacked them is related to the person they were trying to save.
It was a sucker punch to the face EMS Lieutenant Shlomo Raymon says he never saw coming.
“I suddenly just remembered looking for my glasses with a bloody nose,” he said. “I lost consciousness, I had no recollection until I saw the video surface online.”
Raymon said when he arrived at the already contentious scene, it was in response to his fellow EMS workers’ calls for help. The FDNY says an argument broke out at the medical call when the patient’s family members tried to get into the ambulance in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens on Wednesday.
“After he assaulted the crew, my coworkers and I… restrained him to the ground,” Raymon said. “While we were doing that, another gentleman started hitting us.”
By the time the NYPD arrived, one EMS worker had been bit in the arm. Another was left with fractured ribs, and Raymon had to get stitches to his nose after the sucker punch.
“To be honest, he lucked out,” Uniformed EMS Officers Union Vice President Anthony Almojera said. “He got lucky he didn’t injure himself further.”
Despite the medical nature of their jobs, Almojera says EMS workers have to do it all.
“We go to shootings, stabbings, mass casualty incidents,” he said.
Still, they’re finding themselves more and more in danger every day without the training to deal with those volatile situations.
“It’s getting worse,” Almojera said. “I’ve been on the job 15 years, yes people were assaulted back in the day but in the last five or six years it’s really ramped up.”
The union says the recent incident highlights the need for more help from the city.
“We should be treated, paid, and trained,” Almojera said. “Just like the other two, police and fire.”
Police sources say one man was arrested at the scene for biting one of the EMS workers. On the same day as the attack in Brooklyn, an EMS worker at a different call was also assaulted in Far Rockaway, Queens.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74682). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.