Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

999 man terrorised by drunken yob he was trying to help

A paramedic has been assaulted and chased down a city centre street by a drunk man he was trying to help.

However, the ambulance crew member was able to escape when the inebriated attacker fell over.

A crew had been called to an incident at Bank Place, close to Shipquay Street, in Londonderry during the early hours of yesterday morning.

According to John McPoland of the Ambulance Service, the man requiring medical attention was abusive and refused to travel to hospital.

"The crew were sufficiently concerned for the man's safety that they chose to remain with him while they awaited the arrival of the police," he said.

"It was at this point the individual struck out at the paramedic and a bystander."

It is understood the attacker then chased the medic for a short distance before falling over.

Police arrived at the scene a short time later. A 25-year-old man was arrested and has since been released on bail.

Mr McPoland called for the attacker to be prosecuted.

"The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service once again condemns in the strongest possible terms the attempted assault on a crew last night in Derry," he said.

"NIAS again calls for those who would seek to injure our staff in the performance of their duties to face the full rigor of the law."

Mark Durkan, MLA for Foyle, said the attack was "absolutely reprehensible".

"People like paramedics and other health care professionals are doing their best to help people.

"There should be zero tolerance for violence towards health staff whether it takes place in a hospital or on the streets of a city."

Background

The incident is the latest in a series of attacks on ambulance staff in Derry over the last year. In May, a man was arrested after throwing a number of punches as paramedics attempted to help him in the Northland Road area. In February a member of an ambulance crew was attacked as he attended the scene of a road accident in which a woman had been hit by a car.

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