EMS responders attacked in ambulance in downtown Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Investigators say they have arrested a 32-year-old man who attacked two EMS responders in an ambulance in downtown Charleston.

The Charleston Police Department charged Osmell Oropeza-Valdez with two counts of third-degree assault and battery and public intoxication.

On Wednesday night, a police officer on patrol reported seeing a homeless man, later identified as Oropeza-Valdez, harassing motorists in the middle of King Street.  The officer then noticed that the man was intoxicated, and placed him under arrest for public intoxication.

According to the police report, the officer called in an EMS crew after Oropeza-Valdez complained of stomach pains. Police say when emergency crews arrived, the officer handcuffed the suspect to the rail of the gurney.

As the ambulance began to transport Oropeza-Valdez to the Medical University of South Carolina, the ambulance stopped at Morris and King streets.

The ambulance crew then notified the officer, who was following in his car from behind, that Oropeza-Valdez was continuing to be combative and attempted to bite one of the EMS responders.

The officer said when he got to the ambulance he saw Oropeza-Valdez yelling, fighting, attempting to swing his arms and kicking.  Authorities say the suspect kicked one of the EMS responders in the face, and kicked another in the ribs and chest area.

The officer said he attempted to stun Oropeza-Valdez in the thigh, but the stun was ineffective.

One of the emergency personnel onboard the ambulance said he was able to finally get control of the suspect with the help of the officer, and strap Oropeza-Valdez's legs to the gurney.

The suspect was treated and cleared by medical staff at MUSC.

A CPD report states that one of the EMS responders had sustained cuts and abrasions to her face, while another had bruising to his right rib and chest area as a result of the assault.

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