A paramedic in Detroit who was recently bitten by a patient while responding to a call is blaming his injury on insufficient police backup.
Early on Jan. 8, police were called to a domestic disturbance at a Detroit home, The Detroit News reported. A 17-year-old girl had gotten into a fight with her family and climbed onto the roof, said Detroit police Cmdr. DeShawne Sims.
Officers were able to talk the girl down from the roof. While officers and paramedics tried to get the girl on a gurney she became combative, Sims said.
That’s when the girl bit paramedic Daniel Joseph on the wrist and also bit an officer. Police said in a press conference Friday that once the girl became combative, more units were called.
Joseph was off duty because of the injury for at least a few days, WJBK-TV reported. He posted a picture of the injury to his Facebook page, along with criticism of Detroit police.
"Police on scene didn't maintain control of her or the scene," he wrote on Facebook. "This is what happens when police runs continue to get pawned off on EMS."
The Detroit Police Department held a press conference on Friday to respond to Joseph’s claims in the post.
"That statement couldn't be further from the truth," Sims said at the press conference. "We were there together; our people were injured just like they were injured."
Mike Nevin, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association union, says Joseph’s situation is indicative of a larger public safety problem in the city.
"This is just more spin to try to make it sound like Detroit's public safety isn't broken,” Nevin told The Detroit News of Detroit PD’s response to Joseph. “The issue is that the police didn't control the scene properly. Sometimes you need more than two officers on a scene."
A spokesman for the mayor told WXYZ-TV there is no staffing problem in Detroit. Sims said the Jan. 8 incident remains under investigation.
The 17-year-old girl was charged with assault and resisting officers.
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