A Rochester man suffering from a medical emergency was kicked off an ambulance and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of paramedics and police before he later died, leaving the city’s mayor “flabbergasted” at the horrifying development.
In the nearly 12-minute-long video, the patient, who has not been identified, is accused of lunging at the paramedics as they transported him to the hospital on Nov. 30, 2023.
The ambulance is seen parked on the side of a road in the city with its lights still flashing as officers arrive.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he will not get out of the truck — and he’s got to go,” an EMT tells the officer, according to bodycam footage obtained by WROC.
As the ambulance doors open, the officer tells the patient, “It’s a wrap,” and the crew wants him out of the emergency vehicle.
The man explained to the officers that he “couldn’t breathe” as he grunted and clutched his chest and shoulders.
“We tried to help, hunny, but the way that you got in here and the way that you jumped at us is no way to ask of somebody asking for help,” the EMT interjects.
The officer then demanded that he exit the ambulance.
“I was freaking out,” the man said as he puts his coat on to exit. “You would freak out too if you can’t breathe.”
“I hear you,” the officer replied. “I’d probably try to control myself a little bit better.”
He was told to wait outside the ambulance for another to arrive and take him to the hospital.
“Will you take me to the hospital, man?” he pleads with the officer, who refused.
Moments after the man complied with the officer’s request to leave the ambulance, he collapsed and lay motionless on the sidewalk.
The man was lying face down in front of emergency personnel for more than two minutes before anyone helped him.
The patient died two weeks later, Rochester Mayor Malik Evans said in a press conference Thursday.
Evans added he was “flabbergasted” over how the man was treated.
“We must get to the bottom of this,” Evans said. We must understand how and why this occurred, and we must identify processes and safeguards to ensure that it does not happen again.”
“City residents are people and they deserve to be treated humanely and with the same attention as anyone else.”
The man’s official cause of death has not been disclosed.
Evans said the victim’s family members shared that the man “passed away from this health emergency that he had called to get help to address”
The ambulance provider, American Medical Response, said they would comply with Evans’ request to conduct an internal investigation.
“We viewed the video for the first time yesterday and have launched an internal investigation. We have also requested an investigation by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of EMS and Trauma Systems,” the provider said in a statement to 13 ABC.
Rochester Police Chief David Smith has also called for an internal investigation, Evans shared.
“Even though this was a medical scene, there are always lessons to be learned — particularly as it relates to what type of ambulance services our medical services our community are experiencing,” Evans said.