After a number of recent news stories circulated about a rise in attacks on emergency responders, the FDNY dropped a chilling reminder to criminals.
Mess with them, and you’ll rot in jail.
New York’s Bravest have recently fallen victim to a number of attacks, specifically targeting EMTs within the city walls. And they’re not keeping quiet about it any longer.
“EMTs and paramedics respond to 1.5 million calls each year,” a social media post from the department said. “These men and women are highly trained and prepared to save your life at a moment’s notice. FDNY EMS helps protect our city by providing the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care. They face many dangers while on duty, including assault, and are protected by New York State Law. Assaulting an FDNY EMT or paramedic is a felony punishable by 7 years in prison.”
#FDNY EMTs and Paramedics helps protect our city by providing the highest level of pre-hospital emergency care. They face many dangers while on duty, including assault, and are protected by NYS Law. Assaulting an FDNY EMT or Paramedic is a felony punishable by 7 years in prison. pic.twitter.com/jG4gVlVYTE
— FDNY (@FDNY) November 7, 2019
Last month, FDNY EMT Nicholas Cody was brutally beaten while trying to treat a drunken patient.
The handcuffed suspect, identified as 32-year-old Thomas Wright, was able to bite, beat and brutally stomp on the EMT before being stopped.
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.
Wright is facing charges of assault, attempted assault and harassment.
Thanks to the new law enacted last year that increased the penalty for assaulting first responders, Wright now 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.
Another EMT, Danny Manning, 24, was also attacked by a patent he was treating.
“We started to lift him up,” Manning said. “My partner had him from under the arms and I was assisting by moving his legs. As we prepared to lift and he stretched out both arms. Then with a closed fist, out of nowhere, he hit me with a right hook, like a haymaker, right on the bridge of the nose. He got the most perfect spot, right at the bridge. He socked me pretty well and I heard a pop right after that.”
The local first responder union slammed city leaders for allowing the lawlessness and chaos that was spreading through the Big Apple.
“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,” union president Oren 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.”
Another similar attack happened again a month earlier when two FDNY emergency responders were beaten and pepper sprayed in a vicious assault after they reportedly refused to drive two aggressive patients to a different hospital.
The altercation occurred after the suspects got into a fight about triage with the head nurse. Two EMT’s with the FDNY had transported Andre Langston, 27, and Avanti Rhodes, 24, of the Bronx to Mount Sinai West Hospital on Tenth Ave. and W. 59th St.
New York Daily News reported that after a short time inside the hospital, the men exited. Evidently they had gotten into an argument with the head nurse at the Midtown medical center, so they ran outside and demanded that the crew take them to a different city hospital.
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When the ambulance crew declined to take them up on their offer, police say that Rhodes suddenly punched one of the EMT’s in the face, leaving him with a bloody lip and bruised face.
The criminal complaint says that the injured EMT’s partner immediately tried to intervene. But when he tried to step in to help his partner, Langston pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the two paramedics in the face, burning their eyes, police say.
Two men beat and pepper-sprayed 2 FDNY EMTs after they refused to taxi them to another hospital, per authorities.https://t.co/C80yFcNp2T
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) September 6, 2019
Shortly after the group’s scuffle, police managed to take the two men into custody without further incident. The EMS workers did not report any serious injuries.
Rhodes, the original instigator of the fight who had allegedly began throwing punches, was released without bail from the Manhattan jail he had been booked into following his arraignment.
A judge ordered that Langston be held on $5,000 cash/$10,000 bond, according to court documents. Authorities say that he is being held as a fugitive from another unrelated crime.
The local first responder union condemned the attacks against the FDNY workers. Local 2507 represents EMS workers in the city.
“We’re thankful the assaulted FDNY EMTs involved in this incident are with us today. This could have ended tragically,” said union president Oren Barzilay. “Their efforts in preventing their ambulance from possibly being carjacked and causing substantial damage or injuries to others should not go unnoticed.”
Barzilay went on to say that the city is still lacking in their support for police and first responders.
Yadira Arroyo worked as an EMT for the city before she was run over and killed in 2017. Her murderer? A career criminal trying to steal her ambulance.
“The city needs to do more for the men and women who serve and protect New York,” he said.