“He may never fully recover”: EMT brutally attacked by handcuffed suspect in the back of NY ambulance


A young FDNY EMT was seriously injured while trying to take care of someone in the Bronx late last Friday night.

That person was a handcuffed suspect, who was able to bite, beat and stomp on the EMT before being stopped.

Here’s the back story.

That emergency medical technician is assigned to EMS Station 14 in Mott Haven.

Police say he was treating 32-year-old Thomas Wright on the way to Lincoln Medical Center about 10:40 p.m. last Friday.

That’s when they say the drunken suspect broke free from the seat belt restraint on the gurney.  They say he then bit the EMT on the shoulder and knocked him to the ground… then proceeded to stomp on the 20-year-old EMT as he lay on the floor of the ambulance.

Luckily there was an officer in the ambulance who managed to get Wright under control as they arrived at the hospital.

Officials say the EMT was still at Lincoln Medical Center Saturday with serious injuries. Just a short time ago, he’d graduated from the EMS academy.

A source at FDNY told Law Enforcement Today “he may never fully recover” from the beating. 

“It was quick and it was vicious,” he said.

According to Bronx Assistant D.A. Ryan Foley, the EMT suffered nerve damage and a loss of sensation in one of his arms.  Foley said in court that the EMT will be out of work for several months.

Now Wright is charged with assault, attempted assault and harassment.

Thanks to a new law enacted last year that increased the penalty for assaulting first responders, Wright faces up to seven years in prison if convicted of attacking the EMT.

He was arraigned in Bronx Criminal Court wearing a blue hospital gown tucked into black jeans.

“My client was not well. He was upset. He did not have criminal intent,” said Legal Aid Society lawyer Laurence Gurwitch.

Right now, the suspect’s bail is set at $20,000 bond, or $15,000 cash.

That new law that gives teeth to prosecutors for attacking EMTs is warned about on each FDNY ambulance, which now sports a large decal alerting the public to the cost of attacking EMS members.

The first ambulances displaying those new decals were unveiled at EMS Station 26 in the Bronx.

That’s where EMT Yadira Arroyo worked before she was run over and killed in 2017.  Her murderer?  A career criminal trying to steal her ambulance.

The criminal report shows first responders were called to Wright’s home on Mount Hope Place near Jerome Ave. shortly before the attack.  That’s because, according to police, he was heavily intoxicated and acting disorderly.

“FDNY EMS members perform dangerous work thousands of times a day responding to medical calls and protecting New Yorkers,” FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said. “An assault on one of our brave members is a despicable act. Our thoughts and prayers are with our seriously injured EMT.”

Oren Barzilay is the president of FDNY EMS Local 2507.  He said the EMT “has more than likely suffered permanent injury that will impact his life forever.”

“Regardless of what the Mayor or stats say, the streets of New York City are getting worse, violence is on the raise against all first responders and our city is in chaos,” Barzilay said. “We’ve been saying this for two years, that more needs to be done in protecting our EMS personnel. This latest incident shows further evidence of how dangerous the work is for EMS.”

It’s the third EMS member to be hospitalized while on the job this week alone.

On Thursday, EMS Lt. Raymond Wang suffered an aortic aneurysm.

It happened as he raced to help EMT Liam Glinane.  Glinane suffered a stroke while driving an ambulance on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Although both men made it through surgery, they also both remain in critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Also this week, two Brooklyn police officers were violently attacked on Tuesday, while trying to arrest a man for drinking in public.

And it was all caught on video.

Police say the suspect and a bystander threw repeated punches at the cops in a brutal beatdown.  In the footage (link to video at bottom of article), you can see the officers being blindsided from behind as they tried to arrest a man on a Bedford-Stuyvesant sidewalk.

It happened around 5:30 p.m. near Vernon and Liberty Avenues.  The officer say they were on patrol when they spotted Bryan Williams drinking.

As they walked up to him, the 29-year-old, who can be seen in the video wearing a multi-colored coat, took off.

As the officers reached for him, the video shows that he took a wild swing, which sparked the fight.

While trying to arrest Williams, a man wearing a blue hat and blue coat, jumped into the fight from behind and began punching both officers – landing two before running away.  They later identified him as 37-year-old Darnell Brown.

A department spokeswoman said that during the struggle, the two men took an NYPD-issued cellphone from one of the officers.

Williams has been charged with robbery, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.  He was also slapped with that violation for drinking in public.

A judge released him without bail at his arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court Wednesday.

That’s because he’s apparently not a danger… despite the attack on officers.

Brown was charged with robbery and assault on a police officer, and obstructing government administration.

The battle Tuesday is just the latest example of cops caught on camera being targeted on the job.  It’s something that’s outraged NYPD officials, union bosses and those of us who support law enforcement.

Water Bucket Attack

Over the summer, videos surfaced showing police officers being doused with water and food, and being assaulted as they responded to 911 calls.

One of those incidents took place in Harlem, when cops responded to a group of men splashing a woman. They arrested Ibrahima Niang, 22, and Abdoulaye Diallo, 17, for criminal mischief, and while doing so were soaked with water and had a bucket thrown at them.

 “F— you, you’re lucky you have that shield,” Niang told the officers, according to court papers. “What the f— leave us alone,” Diallo said, the criminal complaint says.

Arrests made in NYPD water attacks
Arrests made in NYPD water attacks

Also this week, a police sergeant fatally shot a man during a traffic stop after the driver tried to run the officer over.

It happened Thursday around 3 p.m. near Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx and was the second deadly shooting by the New York police this week.

Here’s what happened.

The sergeant and two officers in a marked car pulled over an S.U.V. after noticing the driver wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The driver’s name wasn’t released as of the time of this publishing.  But the officers determined he had three outstanding warrants for failing to pay fines for violations – one of which was for littering.

Police say that when officers told the driver they were arresting him as a result of the warrants, he got out of the S.U.V.

But they say moments later, he began to physically resist and then got back behind the wheel of the vehicle.  The cops were on the driver’s side of the car, and the sergeant was on the passenger’s side.

They said that with both of the S.U.V.’s front doors open, the driver “initiated a violent struggle”.

That’s according to Terence A. Monahan, the chief of department, who held a news conference near the site of the shooting.

That’s when the sergeant fired a stun gun at the driver, but it didn’t stop him.  He not only continued to fight, but he then shifted into drive and then reverse “with the sergeant inside the vehicle at all times,” Chief Monahan said.

“When the car was put into reverse, the officer on the driver’s side had to release his grip” on the driver “and jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the car,” Chief Monahan said.

According to the police, one of the officers was dragged by the car.

The entire struggle lasted about a minute and a half, and the sergeant finally shot the driver in the chest when the car started to move.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Videos caught by bystanders captured the series of events.

A male and female officer are seen on the driver’s side of a silver S.U.V., fighting with the driver, before the car moves forward and then reverses.

In the video, you can see as the male officer jumps out of the way to avoid being hit by the open door, which slams shut moments before a shot rings out.

Immediately after, the male officer drags a bleeding man from the driver’s seat onto the pavement. He handcuffs him behind his back and then begins trying to save his life.

According to police, the officers, sergeant and a passenger in the car were not hurt.  They also said a large quantity of drugs, including cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy, were found in the S.U.V.

The first officer-involved shooting this week took place on Tuesday in Brooklyn.  That’s when they fatally shot a man after encountering him shooting at a second man.  Just hours after, police in the Bronx shot an armed man at the 225th Street subway station. He was hit once in the arm.

Click here to watch the video of the Brooklyn attack on the officers.

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