VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach firefighters were “pushed and kicked” Monday night while trying to save the life of a motorcyclist, officials say.
When firefighters arrived in the 900 block of Atlantis Drive shortly before 9 p.m. “an unruly crowd gathered and rapidly grew in size and out of control, surrounding the scene…,” according to a Virginia Beach Fire Department daily briefing report obtained by WAVY-TV 10.
As firefighters tried to treat the man involved in the crash, several were “pushed and kicked” the briefing said. The victim, identified on Thursday as 28-year-old Carl Lee Walton Jr., ultimately died from his injuries on the way to the way to the hospital, according to Virginia Beach Police.
However, the report goes on to say that some from the crash scene followed an ambulance to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital and began to “jump on, kick and hit multiple EMS vehicles causing damage.”
“The emergency room was placed on a temporary lockdown as a proactive measure to ensure everyone’s safety” Sentara spokesperson Lauren Patton wrote in an email. The lockdown ended “without incident” but Patton said she wouldn’t elaborate further due to patient privacy.
Virginia Beach Fire spokesperson Art Kohn confirmed that no first responders were injured as a result of what occurred, but deferred to Virginia Beach Police regarding a potential investigation or charges.
Virginia Beach Police didn’t respond to a request for comment by deadline.
At this point, it is not known who attacked first responders and what their motive was. Friends and family of the victim didn’t provide any additional information about the incident other than to say that some family members on the scene were “extremely upset” in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
A memorial has been set up at the scene.
Bruce Nedelka with Virginia Beach EMS said Wednesday that personnel are trained to deal with emotional people when responding to calls and does not believe any actions taken at the hospital were done out of anger towards first responders.
Max Gonano, president of Virginia Beach Professional Firefighters said the whole situation is concerning.
“If the scene is not safe, it is impossible for us to adequately do our job. And then when we can’t do our job … the public suffers and it is dangerous for them as well,” Gonano said. “I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Correction: The original article stated that EMS also came in contact with the crowd. That was not correct and WAVY-TV apologizes for the error.
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