The incident took place after two firefighters/paramedics responded to a call about a man having back pain about 2200 hours last night. The patient, later identified as Tony Harris, was calm when they loaded him in the rescue unit headed to UF Health Jacksonville. As the rescue unit drove. the patient got up off the stretcher, grabbed a box type cutter (normally used to cut seatbelts) from the Captain LaTorrence Norris’s pocket, who was tending to him, and slashed him several times in the upper chest and abdomen.
The struggle continued until Jacksonville police arrived and took Harris into custody.
Captain Norris suffered very substantial blood loss and, as they would later learn, a collapsed lung. A UF Health security guard in a golf cart transported Captain Norris to the emergency room rather than waiting for a second rescue unit to arrive-which may have saved Norris’ life.
The attack came without warning — that the patient was initially calm in the rescue unit and not displaying any issues. Captain Norris has stabilized and is expected to be moved to a private room on today. Harper was treated and released.
Jacksonville FRD leadership will work with law enforcement and prosecutors to seek the maximum punishment for Harris, who has an extensive criminal history.