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Joseph Zajac allegedly assaulted Chicago police officer, 2 paramedics in River North

Saturday, December 7, 2013  By Leah Hope

Two paramedics and a Chicago police officer were injured when prosecutors say the man they were called to help assaulted them Tuesday night in the city's River North neighborhood.



All three first responders were sent to the hospital. The suspect was sent to court. None of the injuries were life threatening. The paramedics and police officer were released Tuesday night. The suspect, who was treated for injuries as well, was in court Wednesday.

Also in court were fellow paramedics and firefighters frustrated by violence first responders sometimes face.

A call for injured man came from this block Tuesday evening on North LaSalle. Two Chicago paramedics responded. They were evaluating him and they say something happened.

"It was an average run and nothing out of the ordinary. It's almost like flipped a switch and the gentleman became combative and that was the result three people hospitalized," said Asst. Deputy Chief Jeff Larson, Chicago Fire Department.

The 28-year-old delivery driver from Indiana appeared in court Wednesday. Joseph Zajac is charged with aggravated battery of the paramedics and a Chicago police officer.

Prosecutor said Zajac hit a 63-year-old paramedic and a Chicago police officer who responded to help the paramedics. The second paramedic was injured. Prosecutors say she ended up with a concussion.

"They are sore, they are beaten up. And they're exhausted at this point. All they want to do is get some rest and be with their family," said Tom Ryan, president, Chicago Firefighters Union.

The president of the union representing the paramedics says he's gone to court five times in just two weeks for suspects charged with assaulting paramedics on the job.

"This is insanity, this should never happen, much less with the frequency that it is happening and I hope the citizens of this city are as outraged as we are," said Ryan.

"When you coming up to handle someone and you think it's a medical emergency and all of a sudden it flips and you're having some violent combative patient, you know, it's disheartening," said Larson.

An I-Team investigation found more than half of all emergency medical service workers have reported assaults on the job.

In the last two years in Cook County, more than sixty people have been charged for assaulting a paramedic.

In this case, the judge issued a $150,000 for Joseph Zajac. He's due back in court December 10. 

   


 

CPD and CFD assaulted on-scene

Saturday, December 7, 2013  Two paramedics and a Chicago police officer were injured when prosecutors say the man they were called to help assaulted them Tuesday night in the city’s River North neighborhood.

All three … were sent to the hospital. The suspect was sent to court. None of the injuries were life threatening. The paramedics and police officer were released Tuesday night. The suspect, who was treated for injuries as well, was in court Wednesday. Also in court were fellow paramedics and firefighters frustrated by violence first responders sometimes face.

A call for [an] injured man came from this block Tuesday evening on North LaSalle. Two Chicago paramedics responded. They were evaluating him and they say something happened.

“It was an average run and nothing out of the ordinary. It’s almost like flipped a switch and the gentleman became combative and that was the result three people hospitalized,” said Asst. Deputy Chief Jeff Larson, Chicago Fire Department.

The 28-year-old delivery driver from Indiana appeared in court Wednesday. Joseph Zajac is charged with aggravated battery of the paramedics and a Chicago police officer.

Prosecutor said Zajac hit a 63-year-old paramedic and a Chicago police officer who responded to help the paramedics. The second paramedic was injured. Prosecutors say she ended up with a concussion.

“They are sore, they are beaten up. And they’re exhausted at this point. All they want to do is get some rest and be with their family,” said Tom Ryan, president, Chicago Firefighters Union.

The president of the union representing the paramedics says he’s gone to court five times in just two weeks for suspects charged with assaulting paramedics on the job.

“This is insanity, this should never happen, much less with the frequency that it is happening and I hope the citizens of this city are as outraged as we are,” said Ryan.

In the last two years in Cook County, more than sixty people have been charged for assaulting a paramedic.



   


 

Ambulance involved in accident in Walker Co. - Georgia

Thursday, December 5, 2013  ROSSVILLE, GA (WRCB) - A paramedic was injured Tuesday evening when the ambulance he was riding in crashed with another vehicle.
It happened just before 9:00p.m. on McFarland Avenue just outside the Rossville city limits. 


Walker County dispatchers tell Channel 3, the patient in transport also suffered additional injuries. 


No word on the condition of the driver or the occupants in the other vehicle.  

   


 

Ind. man accused of assaulting medics, cop - Chicago

Thursday, December 5, 2013  CHICAGO — An Indiana man was charged today with fighting two paramedics and a police officer who were trying to help him after people called for help when they saw him stumble in the street and hit his head.

About 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, people alerted police and paramedics to the 300 block of North LaSalle Drive where they witnessed a man stumble and hit his head on the ground. The witnesses said the man was highly intoxicated and needed medical attention, said police.

When officers and paramedics arrived on the scene and tried to help the man, he became very combative. The man, later identified as Joseph Zajac, struck one of the paramedics in the face. He then punched and kicked an officer and caused another paramedic to fall and strike her head on a railing causing her to pass out, said police.

Zajaz, 28, of Hobart, Ind., was arrested and taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries.

Zajac was charged with three counts of aggravated battery /harm to a police officer and protected employee, and one misdemeanor count of resisting a police officer, said police.

He is scheduled to appear in Bond Court this afternoon. 

   


 

Icy Roads Cause Ambulance to Roll Over on I95 - Maine

Tuesday, December 3, 2013  Slippery roads kept police and ambulance drivers busy Monday.

But a crash on the interstate near Howland had emergency crews tending to their own.

Joy Hollowell takes us there.
===
It started as a routine patient transport to the hospital. But an East Millinocket/Lincoln ambulance became an emergency call Monday went it went off the southbound side of Interstate 95 just south of Howland.

“It rolled over once and came to rest on its wheels,” explains Maine State Police Trooper Trevor Snow.

Three people were inside at the time.

“Driver in the front obviously seat belted, patient properly secured. An attendant, a paramedic in the back, properly seat belted in the back,” says Trooper Snow.

All three were taken to area hospitals to be checked out. We’re told the ambulance driver has more than 40 years experience behind the wheel. He and the attendant suffered minor injuries. They were treated and released from the hospital. The patient they were transporting is also OK.

State Police were also concerned about others behind the wheel, specifically those not following the Move Over law. Troopers say when drivers see emergency lights on the road, they need to move over as far as possible.

“Emergency vehicles include maintenance vehicles, it includes the ambulances and of course police and fire,” says Trooper Snow.

Not moving over could result in a fine.

“It’s a hefty one, it’s better than $300,” says Trooper Snow. “But on top of the fine, it’s just helpful to the emergency crews to give them the space they need to work safely. It’s a tough environment out here for working with the road conditions and people allowing extra room certainly makes us do our jobs better.”
+++
The Penobscot Regional Communications Center tells us they received more than 40 crash reports Monday.

State police dispatchers in Orono say Monday was busy, but not nearly as bad as Sunday when troopers were called to about 100 crashes on the Interstate between Newport and Sherman. 

   


 

Ambulance rolls over on icy I-95 - Maine

Tuesday, December 3, 2013  By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff

EDINBURG, Maine — Two East Millinocket Fire Department ambulance workers and a patient were inside an ambulance that went off Interstate 95 and rolled over in icy conditions on Monday, officials said.

The East Millinocket and Lincoln Fire Department ambulance was southbound taking a patient to a Bangor hospital when it slid off the west side of the road near mile marker 214 and rolled once before coming to a stop on its wheels about 9:45 a.m., Trooper Trevor Snow said.

“They are heavy [which provides good traction] but they are also top-heavy so in conditions where other vehicles would just slide off the roadway their momentum can carry them over,” Snow said. “A more top-heavy vehicle is more likely to go over.”

Driver Louis Perreault, an emergency medical technician, of East Millinocket didn’t believe he was hurt but went to Eastern Maine Medical Center of Bangor as a precaution. Paramedic Harvey Frederick of Cary “complained of some pain,” Snow said. The patient, whom Snow did not identify, suffered no additional injuries.

A hospital official couldn’t immediately determine whether Perrault and Frederick had been admitted. They and their patient were wearing seat belts or were otherwise properly secured, Snow said.

Howland Fire Chief Phil Dawson, whose department handled the accident, and Lincoln Public Safety Director Dan Summers could provide no further details. East Millinocket firefighters referred comment to Fire Capt. Peter Larlee, who came to the accident scene, and Fire Chief Les Brown. Neither were available on Monday afternoon.

The East Millinocket and Lincoln fire departments’ ambulance service, which covers 14 northern Penobscot County towns including Lincoln, Lee, East Millinocket and Medway, was launched in July. It fills a niche created when Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln dropped its ambulance service.

The accident was among dozens reported during Monday morning’s rush and after more than 50 reported Sunday night along I-95. Light snowfall, slush and temperatures hovering at the freezing mark made icy conditions dangerously unpredictable, officials said.

A two-mile section of I-95 in Newport was closed for about two hours and a Biddeford man reportedly died as a result of a crash on I-95 in Township 2, Range 9 on Sunday night. A fatality also was reported on Riverside Drive in Auburn on Monday morning.

Monday’s conditions on I-95 created far fewer accidents than Sunday’s but emergency responders still were busy, Snow said. A pickup truck towing a horse trailer and a horse slid into a guardrail near mile marker 219 on I-95’s southbound side about 15 minutes before the ambulance rollover. The man, woman and horse involved were not injured, state police said.

No charges will be filed against Perrault in connection with the accident, which clearly was caused only by weather and road conditions, Snow said. 

   


 

Ambulance involved in Norfolk crash - Virginia

Monday, December 2, 2013  NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - An ambulance was involved in a crash in Norfolk early Friday morning.

Dispatchers told WAVY.com around 1 a.m. the crash occurred near the intersection of Newtown Road and Virginia Beach Boulevard.

There was an entrapment, according to dispatchers, but they could not confirm if the entrapment involved the ambulance. One person in the ambulance was taken to the hospital, but it remains unknown at this time if it was a patient or and EMS worker.

Further information was not released. 

   


 

Ambulance crashes into Reading row homes, two hurt - Pennsylvania

Monday, December 2, 2013  Two people were injured Friday in a crash that sent an ambulance careening into a city row home.

According to Reading Fire Acting Chief Gary A. Mogel, the crash happened just before 9:20 a.m. at Perkiomen Avenue and 16th Street. A vehicle collided with an out-of-town ambulance, which then crashed into two row homes in the 1600 block of Perkiomen Avenue.

Mogel said the ambulance was an "out of town transport," but he did not know exactly where it was from.

The ambulance knocked out the supports for the porches of both homes, and then crashed partially through the basement wall of the second home, 1616 Perkiomen Avenue.

The house at 1616 Perkiomen Avenue is not currently occupied, Mogel said. A family does live at the other house, he said, but was not home at the time of the crash.

The drivers of both vehicles were transported to Reading Hospital. Mogel did not know their names, and officials from the Reading Police Department did not provide any information on the crash Friday.

The drivers' conditions were not immediately available.

Mogel said city codes officials were called to the scene to make sure the two homes were secure.
 

   


 

Ambulance wrecks into creek - West Virginia

Wednesday, November 27, 2013  POWELLTON, W.Va. – A Jan-Care ambulance crew was treated and released from Charleston Area Medical Center Tuesday morning following a traffic accident in Fayette County.

The two-person crew was responding to a medical call along Elkridge Road in Powellton when the driver lost control of the ambulance sending it over an embankment into Armstrong Creek.

Jan-Care Director of Operations Paul Seamann said neither worker was seriously injured. He said another Jan-Care ambulance completed the medical run and transported the patient.

An investigation into what happened is underway.

The ambulance crew involved works out of Jan-Care’s Valley Division in the Montgomery-Gauley Bridge area. 

   


 

Ambulance flips landing in Armstrong Creek - West Virginia

Wednesday, November 27, 2013  By Cortney Vannatter

An ambulance wrecked in Fayette County Tuesday morning. 

An ambulance was responding to a call on Elkridge Road, when it flipped over a hill, landing in Armstrong Creek, in Powellton.

General ambulance and Jane Care Ambulance both responded to the scene.

At least two individuals have injuries, and they were both taken to CAMC Hospital. 

Montgomery Fire Department and Armstrong Creek Fire Department were still on the scene as of 2:30 a.m. this morning.

Stay with 59News online and on-air for this developing story.  

   


 

DePaul student Erik Kawar charged with assaulting paramedic - Chicago

Tuesday, November 26, 2013  By Chuck Goudie

(CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has learned that another Chicago Fire Department paramedic has been attacked by someone she was trying to help. This latest case resulted in felony charges filed Monday against a DePaul University student.



This is happening at least once a week in Chicago-- paramedics jumped and pummeled--in some cases, by people whose lives they are trying to save. Shortly after an I-Team investigation last month uncovered the growing threat to paramedics, authorities say a DePaul student attacked a female paramedic.

On Monday, fire union officials were at the young man's court appearance to press for felony charges against him, and the I-Team was there.

"I want everyone to know around the entire country to keep your hands off of our paramedics, our fire fighters and our police officers because they are there to help you. They are called to assist you, not to be your personal punching bag," said Tom Ryan, president, Firefighters Local #2.

Chicago paramedic Kelly Begley was dispatched to this DePaul student apartment building on November 1. The call was an intoxicated individual who fell and injured his head.

After Begley arrived, it was her head that was injured, she says, by the student she was called to treat.

According to Cook County prosecutors, Erik Kawar's girlfriend called paramedics when he came home drunk, with a head injury from hitting the pavement. Paramedic Begley testified in a Cook County Court that Kawar swore at her and then hit Begley in the face, giving her a black eye, then pushed her into the wall and fell on her. She ended up transported to Illinois Masonic.

"This to happening repeatedly, since your first story there have been four other cases and that was only a few weeks ago, it's happening on a weekly basis and we are not going to put up with it," said Ryan.

"Our story" is the investigation the I-Team aired on October 2, one month before Begley's alleged assault. We uncovered a growing nationwide problem and disturbing, regular attacks here in Chicago.

On Monday, Kawar was officially charged with a felony and the case will be assigned to a trial judge.

"Is this thing filming?" said Erik Kawar, charged with assaulting paramedic.

"He won't be making any comment," said Adam Grolsch, Kawar's attorney.

"There are very few things you can count on in this world 100%, when you dial 911 we are there every time. And we do not deserve to be assaulted on the scene."

The DePaul student from Naperville is among dozens of defendants in paramedic assault cases being charged now as felonies. The Cook County State's Attorney says the majority of them end in a conviction or a guilty plea.  

   


 

Woman Bit Paramedic Treating Her Injury: Police - Connecticut

Tuesday, November 26, 2013  West Haven police have arrested a 30-year-old local woman accused of punching and smashing a car window, hitting a 13-year-old who tried to intervene in a dispute and biting the paramedic who was trying to help her.

Police responded to 254 Main Street around 11 p.m. on Sunday for an assault complaint and said Jessica Rosario, of the same address, had just smashed the window of a vehicle. 

Investigators also learned that Rosario had struck a 13-year-old who had tried to intervene in the dispute that Rosario was having with a male. 

As paramedics treated Rosario for a cut she sustained while punching the window, she bit a medical provider on the arm, police said.

Rosario was transported to the hospital for treatment and she was then held at the West Haven Police Department.

She was charged with breach of peace in the second degree, criminal mischief in the third degree, reckless endangerment in the second degree, interfering with an officer/resisting arrest, assault on a public safety/emergency medical personnel and risk of injury to a child.

Bond was set at $25,000.

She is due in court in Milford today.  

   


 

Ambulance Accident In Tuckerton - New Jersey

Tuesday, November 26, 2013  SkyFOX was over the scene of a multi-vehicle accident involving an ambulance on Center Street & Oak Lane in Tuckerton, NJ.

There was one person entrapped, but ABC 6 reported that the person has been airlifted to an area hospital. A police investigation is under way. Stay with FOX 29 for more information. 

   


 

Were ‘rogue’ paramedics crashing to the rescue in Waterloo Region? - Canada

Friday, November 22, 2013  By Jeff Outhit

WATERLOO REGION — Ambulance crashes were on the rise on the area's busiest roads before politicians intervened to overhaul a troubled paramedic service, The Record has found.

In July 2012, a paramedic supervisor watched a local ambulance respond to an emergency without activating its lights and siren. Paramedics said they forgot.

An internal investigation revealed that "many paramedics" were not activating warning systems on emergency calls, violating regional policy.

Behind closed doors, politicians asked why this was not detected sooner and asked: "Were there any negative impacts on patient health and safety?" Investigators later found no evidence of this.

However, The Record has discovered that ambulance crashes more than doubled on regional roads before regional council intervened. In almost half of the collisions, paramedic drivers made a mistake, and in almost one-third of the collisions paramedic drivers were deemed inattentive.

The newspaper analyzed collision records kept by regional government to find that:

Ambulances were involved in 28 collisions that injured 10 people between 2010 and 2012. That's up from 13 collisions, in which there were no injuries, between 2007 and 2009. It's an increase of 15 collisions.

Fire trucks experienced seven fewer collisions and police vehicles experienced 14 fewer collisions between 2010 and 2012, compared to three previous years.

•Comparing all emergency services since 2010, fire vehicle crashes are down 35 per cent, police crashes are down 14 per cent and ambulance crashes are up 115 per cent.

Regional records don't reveal if ambulances involved in collisions did not activate lights and sirens. "Certainly, it would appear to be a contributing factor," Coun. Sean Strickland said.

Strickland called the collision spike "unfortunate" and said politicians were "shocked, disappointed and quite dismayed" to learn that "rogue" paramedics were not activating lights and sirens on emergency calls.

"We made some very positive changes to the service in all levels," he said.

The failure of many paramedics to activate lights and sirens triggered an investigation that resulted in a scathing public report and the departure of ambulance chief John Prno last March.

Ministry of Health investigators reported that paramedics failed to consistently follow patient-care standards. Authorities stressed they had no evidence of any patient being harmed as a result.

As well as Prno's departure, regional government disciplined 24 of 171 paramedics and fired two others.

Today, paramedics are activating lights and sirens on emergency calls, authorities report. Regional government is tracking the use of emergency traffic warnings and so are other ambulance services after seeing the controversy here.

"We have a requirement to use lights and sirens to warn people that are on the road that we're coming," said Stephen Van Valkenburg, ambulance chief since August. "It's not only for the safety of our paramedics, but it's also for the safety of the people sharing the road with us."

Paramedics must pass a driver training course provided by regional government. There are no plans to alter driver training.

Strickland said he would ask managers to review driver training after The Record revealed a spike in ambulance collisions.



jouthit@therecord.com 

   


 

Edmonton man shot by cops pleads guilty to assaulting police, paramedics - Canada

Friday, November 22, 2013  BY  ,EDMONTON SUN

An Edmonton man who claims he was left a paraplegic after being shot by police following a domestic dispute has admitted attacking a cop and two paramedics.

Jonathan Perry, 32, was handed a 54-day jail term, which was deemed served as a result of pre-trial custody, after pleading guilty to one count of assault and one count of assault with a weapon in Provincial Court on Wednesday.

Court heard police responded to a call of trouble not known at Perry’s residence near 97 Avenue and 106 Street on Sept. 12, 2011, and a struggle ensued that resulted in Perry suffering some injuries, including a gunshot.

He was then put in an ambulance to be taken to hospital and had an IV drip attached near his waist, court heard.

Perry then removed the drip cord, breaking it in the process, and began waving the IV spike around like a weapon against the two paramedics, court heard.

Neither paramedic was hurt, although one of them had to flatten himself against the side of the ambulance to avoid being struck by the IV spike, court heard.

A police officer was also in the ambulance and was assaulted by Perry while trying to get the IV spike away from him. He did get the spike away and was not injured.

Other charges, including several counts of assaulting a peace officer, were withdrawn against Perry, who appeared in court in a wheelchair.

Meanwhile, Perry has launched a $5.5-million lawsuit against police and alleges he suffered a shattered spinal canal, paraplegia and neurological damage as a result of being Tasered and shot by officers during the incident.

In an Aug. 30 statement of claim, Perry alleges two city police officers wrongfully assaulted and beat him and then falsely imprisoned him.

Perry is seeking aggravated and punitive damages as a result of the two officers allegedly being careless of the “deliberate” bodily harm they inflicted on him and for not rendering adequate medical assistance.

He also claims they hurt his feelings and caused him to be “embarrassed, upset and distressed” and they assaulted him in front of his girlfriend, who has since left him.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is also investigating the shooting and is trying to determine if Perry had a weapon on him when police arrived. It’s not known how long the investigation will take.

Statements of defence have not yet been filed.

Statements of claim and statements of defence contain allegations which have not been proven in court.


 

   


 
 
 

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