Woman Handcuffed During Epileptic Seizure

We have seen that it can be dangerous to call the police for help, but it know appears that calling 911 for a medical emergency can be just as dangerous.  There have been a number of these type of incidents in the news recently.  We all remember the case of the  86 year old bedridden women that was tasered by police after her son, wanting his mother evaluated by medical personnel, called 911.  Diabetics have also fallen victim to the police’s heavy handed tactics.  The latest case of police abuse during a medical emergency comes to us from Mt Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

When Jessica Yochum had an epileptic seizure at work in February, her co-workers at Houlihan’s at the Galleria knew what was happening.

They called 911 and told dispatchers the young woman was seizing.

But when emergency responders from the Medical Rescue Team South Authority ambulance service and Mt. Lebanon police arrived, they did not follow what are considered by experts to be standard protocols for such an event.

They handcuffed Ms. Yochum, 23, shackled her and restrained her head. All that, her attorney said, exacerbated the seizure.

By the time they got her to St. Clair Hospital, she had inadvertently bitten one of the ambulance workers, and the police were accusing her of being on cocaine.

They charged her with aggravated assault for the bite — even after they learned from Ms. Yochum’s doctor that the girl had epilepsy and was not taking any illegal drugs.

Read the rest here.

Why are cops showing up at medical emergencies anyway?


Paula Parmeley Carter

Paula is a Staff Writer at CopBlock. She advocates ending the monopoly on policing and protection services. When not writing at CopBlock she enjoys being a wife and mother, reading and drinking good beer.