SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A 911 call for help with a suicidal woman led to a San Francisco police officer losing his job and a paramedic being charged with felony assault of a patient, authorities said Wednesday.
Prosecutors allege that paramedic Raymond Lee broke the woman’s arm and choked her in the ambulance.
Lee has pleaded not guilty and retired Friday, authorities say. His attorney James Bustamante did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking comment.
The 2017 incident began with a call from a frantic mother reporting that her 20-year-old daughter was demanding $1,000 for drugs or she would kill herself, according to court documents.
Responding officers were concerned the daughter would have a drug relapse and they called paramedics, who used soft restraints to tie the woman to a stretcher and loaded it into an ambulance.
Prosecutors say the incident was captured on video by the body-worn camera of police Officer Michael Filamor, who helped restrain the woman and was in the ambulance with her and Lee.
The newly hired Filamor was still on probation at the time, according to court records.
Police Chief Bill Scott said Filamor was fired in January because he muted the sound on his body camera while in the ambulance in an attempt to cover up the incident.
Scott also admonished Filamor for failing to stop the alleged assault.
In a wrongful termination lawsuit, Filamor said the paramedic was asking detailed medical history questions and he muted the camera out of concern for the her privacy. Filamor said he didn’t know Lee and had no reason to protect him.
Filamor also said the alleged choking wasn’t apparent to him.
The San Francisco city attorney’s office said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.