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Sunday, June 3, 2018
Ambulance shot while medics treat ‘unruly’ patient
Ed. Sometimes words just fail me. A youtube video describing the incident is available HERE.
19-year-old woman was
charged in connection with an attack on two Chicago Fire Department paramedics in the
back of an ambulance that was also struck by a bullet during the episode in
Englewood early Sunday, police said.
Latorya Thigpen, of
the Parkway Gardens neighborhood, is accused of hitting, punching, kicking,
scratching and spitting at two uniformed paramedics as they tried to treat her
in the 2700 block of West 68th Street in the South Side’s Marquette Park
neighborhood about 4 a.m, police said.
suffered scratches, abrasions, bruising, and loss of consciousness, police
During the incident,
a bullet lodged itself in the passenger side door of the ambulance as medics
were treating a patient whose family became irate when they weren’t allowed in
initially was sent to 68th Street and Damen Avenue about 3:45 a.m. to treat a
woman who was having a medical issue, police said.
Paramedics found an
unresponsive woman around the age of 19 on the ground with her mother there,
Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
As medics got the
woman into the ambulance and started treating her, the mother and several other
family members started banging on the windows and doors, trying to get inside,
Ambulance with bullet in rear door. Youtube VIDEO HERE
Once the woman
regained consciousness, she became "unruly and then combative, fighting
the paramedics," police said.
Paramedics heard a
loud fireworks-like burst, with one especially loud “firework” that turned out
to be shooting, Langford said. As responding officers went to investigate where
the shooting came from, Langford said the medics drove away and made it to 69th
Street and Bell Avenue — where there’s a fire station — to keep treating the
The shooting appeared
to be coming from a house about eight lots down 68th Street from the ambulance,
Langford said. Fire and police officials said they did not have information
about the caliber of the bullet or gun used.
The coppery slug
remained lodged in the ambulance door, slightly below and center of the handle.
While the ambulance is not an armored vehicle, Langford said the bullet hit an
area in front of a compartment with an extra wall, which meant it would have
had extra layers to go through before making it into the ambulance.
“My gut tells me,
after talking to everybody … the ambulance probably was not shot at,” Langford
said. “It might have been from the altercation down the street.”
As medics struggled
with the combative patient, her mother followed the ambulance to 69th and Bell,
where she kept trying to get to her daughter inside, Langford said.
repeatedly kicked one of the paramedics in the head, and a police officer got
in the ambulance and handcuffed her to subdue her, Langford said. She has since
been treated at Holy Cross Hospital and released to Chicago police, he said.
The paramedic she
kicked also was taken to Holy Cross and was expected to be treated and
released, Langford said.
About the same time
as the shooting, ShotSpotter — police technology used to detect shootings in
the city — picked up the sound of gunfire nearby and police found a car with
shell casings inside.
Allowing a loved one
in the back of an ambulance with a patient would be problematic for several
reasons, including that there’s already limited space with two medics and the
patient and it’s more difficult to treat someone with an emotional parent
there, Langford said.
returned to the firehouse, where it was taken out of service. It had been
“trashed,” with items off shelves and in disarray, Langford said. Meanwhile, he
said the department was not allowing it to be photographed in the firehouse.
“Being a firefighter
or doing emergency medicine on the street is a dangerous job,” Langford said.
“When you’re on the street, you never know what’s going to happen.”
Thigpen, of the 6300 block
of South Martin Luther King Drive, was charged with two counts of felony
aggravated battery, police said. Shec is expected to appear in Cook County bond
court on Monday.