Press release issued in conjunction with West Midlands Police – Monday 6th April – 4.30pm.
West Midlands Police have arrested a man suspected of a “sickening” attack on a paramedic that’s left the NHS front-liner with a broken jaw.
Officers were called to Winifred Avenue, Coventry, just before 9pm last night (5 April) by a crew reporting a violent patient.
Paramedics were sent to the address after a man suggested he was suffering breathing difficulties.
However, the 21-year-old lashed out as he demanded an inhaler and punched a paramedic in the face. He remains in hospital with a suspected broken jaw.
The offender drove off in a car, colliding with the ambulance as he sped away, but traffic officers detained him from a vehicle in Holyhead Road at around 1pm today.
He has been arrested on suspicion of wounding, driving off from the scene of a collision, plus criminal damage as it’s suspected he damaged a door at a GP’s surgery.
Coventry Police Chief Superintendent Mike O’Hara said: “Attacks on any emergency services staff will never be tolerated but this is a particularly sickening incident right now given that NHS workers are on the frontline of our national efforts to tackle coronavirus.
“I think I speak for the whole of Coventry in wishing the paramedic well and we hope him a speedy recovery.”
The suspect remains in custody for questioning and will also be spoken to about an incident at a doctor’s surgery in Baliol Road, in the Stoke area of Coventry, on 31 March when a glass door pane was broken.
West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) Chief Executive, Anthony Marsh, said: “This was a horrendous assault on one of my staff.
“At a time when the NHS is under more pressure than at any time in its history, to lose an experience paramedic from a cowardly act like this, beggars belief.
“I am determined that we will work with police colleagues to bring anyone who attacks my staff to justice.”
Attacks on Blue Light staff can be prosecuted under the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act which comes with the potential for tougher sentences.