For the second time this week, someone has been arrested for allegedly assaulting an EMT in South Boston.
Donna A. Taylor, 37, of Boston, is facing charges of assault and battery, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after she allegedly pushed an emergency medical services supervisor and struck him in the head and upper body during a dispute on Thursday.
The EMT captain had been rendering aid to a suspected drug overdose patient when a crowd had gathered around the ambulance, Boston EMS Chief James Hooley said at a news conference Friday. The EMT asked the crowd to step away so he could safely perform his duties, but Taylor did not.
"When he came back to finish rendering aid, this particular woman had followed him and swinging with attempt to maybe harm him," Hooley said. "Unfortunately for her, he was in the presence of a couple uniformed Mass. State Police troopers who were right there on another matter who quickly took her into custody and protected us and the patient."
The alleged assault occurred just one day after a woman was arrested for stabbing one EMT in an ambulance and spraying a Mace-like substance at a second emergency technician.
EMS officials released a statement Friday on the incident:
"Thankfully, the Captain, a 37-year veteran of the EMS, was unharmed and able to continue to do his job."
Around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, two Massachusetts State Police troopers were conducting a traffic stop on Preble Circle in South Boston, at the same time that Boston Fire and EMS were responding to a medical aid call nearby for an unconscious woman on Old Colony Avenue.
While conducting the motor vehicle stop, the troopers said they heard a man yelling "get back" and heard someone shouting back in response. The troopers saw a woman, later identified as Taylor, trying to push past a Boston EMS supervisor in order to enter the building emergency officials had responded to. The EMS supervisor was reportedly attempting to keep Taylor out of the building so the medical response to the unresponsive woman could continue uninterrupted.
Taylor allegedly pushed the EMS supervisor and began flailing her arms, striking him in the head and upper body. The EMS supervisor attempted to push her away in self defense, but Taylor continued her assault and the two wound up struggling in traffic.
State police said several people on the sidewalk were recording the assault on their cellphones, but none of them attempted to step in to help the EMS supervisor.
The troopers rushed to the scene and ordered Taylor to stop the assault. When she did not immediately comply, the troopers placed her in handcuffs as she attempted to resist arrest.
Once handcuffed, police said Taylor continued to struggle and refused to let the troopers place her into the back of a cruiser. Once they got her inside the cruiser and closed the door, they said she continued to slam against the glass and violently kick the door panel.
She was taken to state police barracks in South Boston, where she was charged with assault on ambulance personnel, assault and battery on a person age 60 or older, assault and battery, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace.
Police said Taylor also had an outstanding warrant out of Boston Municipal Court for larceny over $1,200 and destruction of property. She was ordered held on $3,000 bail.
The EMS supervisor who was attacked did not seek medical attention, according to state police.
With two attacks in the last week, Hooley said EMTs can't always predict what types of situations they are arriving to despite their training.
"Sometimes scenes themselves can become difficult where it could be a bystander or maybe something happened before you got there - a fight or an altercation - and there's sides taken place," said Hooley. "At times, you do have that risk of walking into situations where violence can occur."
Michael MacNeil, the president of the EMS union, issued a statement saying the incidents highlight the dangers first responders face every day.
"This is just another example of the dangers that EMTs and Paramedics face on a daily basis. It is time that the state recognizes EMS as a necessary, third service under the public safety umbrella. And it’s time to protect our providers through funding and legislation. Enough is enough."