By CLAYTON GUSE and THOMAS TRACY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | MAY 30, 2021
An FDNY EMT was attacked by a patient in a Brooklyn hospital, leaving him with a broken nose and stitches around his eye, the Daily News has learned.
Ricardo Cervoni was treating an intoxicated patient in the emergency room at Woodhull Medical Center in Bushwick when another EMS crew brought in a patient to be treated for depression about 9 p.m. Saturday, officials said.
The new patient started shouting about not being offered a bed — and took out his frustration on Cervoni, who was standing with his back turned.
“He was screaming, ‘How long do I have to wait here? Where’s my bed?,’” Cervoni, 28, told the Daily News. “As soon as he was done with that, that’s when he shoved me. Prior to that I’d spoken no words to him. He was not my patient. I barely made eye contact with this guy.”
The patient barreled into Cervoni, causing the EMT’s head to slam against the metal frame of a plexiglass barrier meant to help stem the spread of coronavirus.
“It happened so quick that no one could react to what had happened,” Cervoni said. “All I heard was a thump.”
“I was gushing blood everywhere,” added Cervoni, who graduated from the FDNY Academy in March 2020 as the city’s hospitals began to fill up with COVID-19 patients.
Cervoni was left with a fractured nose and a cut to his left eyebrow that required stitches.
Cops happened to already be in the emergency room and quickly arrested Jamaine Williams, an NYPD spokesperson said.
Williams, 31, was charged with assault on an EMT, menacing, harassment and obstructing governmental administration, police said.
“In the ER sometimes these patients make a scene but usually sit down and relax,” said Cervoni.
Cervoni said the attack was the latest in what he fears is a growing number of assaults committed by emotionally disturbed New Yorkers who have gone untreated during the pandemic.
“This is becoming more and more common,” said Cervoni. “EMTs are robbed of our equipment. People are getting punched, banged, kicked — and dealing with these people who just don’t care about us even when we’re trying our best to help them.”
Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, which represents the FDNY’s uniformed EMTs, said it’s “open season for violent assaults” on his members.
“The NYPD and DAs have to demonstrate zero tolerance for assaults on lifesaving FDNY EMS members,” said Barzilay. “If the people in power won’t take this serious, the violence will continue to rise against all of us.”