Denver paramedic arrested for allegedly beating seizure patient |

Denver paramedic arrested for allegedly beating seizure patient

Bill Scanlon
Rocky Mountain News
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” A Denver, Colorado paramedic repeatedly struck a seizure patient in the head and stomach on the way to the hospital on Jan. 3, a warrant in support of his arrest for first-degree assault says.

Paramedic Alan Miller, 30, was arrested Thursday for first-degree assault, false imprisonment and false reporting to authorities in connection with the incident.

Tim Smith, 39, had a seizure on the evening of Jan. 3 in his home in southwest Denver, his wife, Suzanne Lawrence, told police.

As paramedics took him from the home to the ambulance, he appeared to have just a small bump on his forehead and a little bit of bleeding from his mouth, Lawrence said.

When Lawrence saw him again that evening at Denver Health Medical Center, he had a broken nose, a broken eye socket and a fractured skull, she told police.

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Police looking back into the incident found that during the ride to the hospital, Miller had called police for help in restraining Smith.

Police arrived to lend assistance, and the transport was completed.

But Miller’s partner, questioned by police a few days later, said Miller had overreacted to Smith’s struggling against his restraints.

She said that Miller, who was in the back with the patient, asked her to stop the ambulance as she was heading toward Denver Health Medical Center.

She did so and ran back to the rear doors to help.

She said the patient was extremely bloody and yelling.

She then watched Miller punching the patient “in the stomach and the face,” and then watched as Miller struck Smith “in the side of the head with his right elbow.”

The female paramedic also noted to police that Smith’s legs were free from their restraints, even though “there is no way for any patient to escape from these restraints.”

She told police that after Miller called police for help, Miller began striking Smith “repeatedly in the face for no reason.”

When officers arrived they found that the patient was extremely bloody and spitting blood, the warrant says.

The woman paramedic told police that she was “nervous and embarrassed that Miller contacted police for emergency cover,” the warrant said. She told police that “there was no reason to treat the patient the way Miller had done,” according to the warrant.

One police officer said that when he looked inside the ambulance he saw “large amount of blood” throughout the ambulance and that the patient had “extreme amounts of blood on his head and face.”

Denver Police investigators learned that Denver Health paramedics division had completed its own investigation of the injuries to Smith.

When police requested a copy of the report, Denver Health officials said they wouldn’t hand it over without a court order, according to a search warrant in the case.

In an affidavit to a Denver judge, police said they were requesting a 34-page Denver Paramedics case file, “Alan Miller,” and access to two e-mails.

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