Updated 10/23/2012 10:28 PM
Initiative Announced To Protect EMTs And Paramedics From Assaults
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Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is supporting legislation that would increase penalties for assaults against paramedics and EMTs.
Under the proposed law, those types of assaults would be assigned to an Assistant DA in the Investigations Bureau, who will review and prosecute the cases.
The legislation would also change the definition of second-degree assault from serious physical injury to just physical injury.
NY1 spoke with some EMTs, including one who says she suffered a neck sprain and emotional trauma when a patient punched her in the face, causing her to fall out of the ambulance.
"I think they should make it felony assault because what happened to me was a felony assault, and when I see it happen to my co-workers, I feel they need justice for what happened to them," said Betty Higdon, an EMT.
"I've had glass bottles thrown at me from building roofs, amongst other things," said Shaya Gutleizer, an EMT. "We've been threatened. I've been pushed around."
According to the EMT union, there have been 51 assaults so far this year.