Man accused of putting paramedic in choke hold while in ambulance

Taser had to be used to subdue suspect, deputies say

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A man who choked and attacked a pair of paramedics who were attempting to transport him in an ambulance had a Taser deployed on him to get him to stop resisting, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.

It began with a call to 911.

"What makes you think he's having a stroke?" the dispatcher asks the caller.

"His eyes are pinned and his whole face is super red," the caller said. "He's had issues before. He's making no sense at all."

Deputies said two paramedics were taking 33-year-old David Parsons, of DeLand, to a hospital around 10 p.m. Sunday. The paramedic who was driving looked in the rear-view mirror and saw that Parsons had gotten off the stretcher and was attacking the paramedic who was in the back, a news release said.

The driver pulled the ambulance over in the area of the 720 block of East Taylor Road in DeLand and opened the door to find Parsons had the paramedic in a choke hold, according to authorities.

Deputies said the paramedic who was driving put Parsons in a choke hold to stop him from choking the paramedic who had been in the back.

The scuffle spilled out of the ambulance and into the street, where Parsons continued to act violently toward the paramedics, ran into oncoming traffic and stopped a passing vehicle, according to a news release.

A paramedic tried to calm Parsons down and stepped between him and the oncoming vehicle, but Parsons put the paramedic into a choke hold and the two ended up wrestling on the ground as the other paramedic tried to pull Parsons off, the report said.

When Deputy Micah Stoltz arrived, he found Parsons straddling one of the paramedics on the ground while the other attempted to help his partner, according to authorities.

“Let him go. Let go of him now. Let go of him now,” Stoltz can be heard saying in video from his body-worn camera.

Stoltz then deployed his Taser, a news release said.

Video shows another deputy handcuffing Parsons after the Taser was deployed.

Parsons was taken to the Florida Hospital DeLand and was medically cleared before he was booked into the Volusia County Jail on two counts of aggravated battery on an emergency care provider.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in the last year roughly 50 arrests have been made for aggravated battery on law enforcement officers, EMTs, firefighters and other public safety employees.

The paramedics involved were not seriously injured.

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