The Scamming Was Bad But Then Things Got Gross

, , , , | Legal | October 24, 2020

I used to volunteer for my township’s all-volunteer first aid squad. Some years prior, we had removed a volunteer for a variety of reasons, including being unfit for duty. Prior to that, when he was still on the squad, he told me an hour-long story about how he was working as an EMT in Manhattan on 9/11. He had my complete attention and sympathy while he told me how he was injured and could not walk inside one of the towers when a policeman came by and carried him out to safety.

Following his removal from the squad, it started coming out that the whole story he told me was a lie and he was scamming foundations and other groups out of money and services. At the time, though, nobody could prove that he was a scam artist. I felt personally affronted, as he had originally had me hook, line, and sinker when he told me his fake story. Because of this, I was very vocal about how I felt about him, and he knew it.

Fast forward several years. It is a Friday night and I am on duty to take calls for an ambulance in my township. The township high school is playing a football game, and since the school requires an ambulance to be stationed at the game, we have a second rig there. Partway through the game, my pager goes off, announcing a call for a stabbing at the game. My crew heads that way. When we arrive, we see that the other ambulance is already on the scene rendering care. Since it would be the responsibility of my ambulance to transport to the hospital, we decide to leave the patient on that ambulance and just switch crews.

I enter the side of the other rig to see the victim receiving care for his wound by the other crew. But who else is there? The scammer! I look him in the eye.

Me: *Calmly* “You can leave my ambulance now.”

Scammer: “I will not. I’ve started rendering care here and I am going to see it through to the end.”

Me: “We have it under control. Exit my ambulance.”

Scammer: “No.”

Me: “You must leave immediately; you are not wanted here.”

He looks down to the floor, picks something up, and throws it at my face. I do not have time to react; we are only five feet apart. The object hits me square in my face and then falls toward my hands, where I catch it. It is only then that I realize it is the bloody shirt from the stabbing victim! And this is in front of three witnesses directly inside the ambulance.

I immediately drop it to the floor and then proceed to lose my cool. I move around the victim on the stretcher toward the scammer/assaulter. I get loud. I am not even sure what I say exactly, but something to the effect of, “How dare he expose my eyes and hands to a bodily fluid?!”

The scammer/assaulter quickly jumps out the back of the ambulance. I follow, still shouting. He runs away. Within five seconds, I realize that a police officer was standing right there taking a witness statement but is now staring at me in surprise, as he has never seen me act this way. I look at him and apologize, telling him that I will talk to him later.

We transported the victim to the hospital and he turned out to be okay. After finishing up with the transport, I called my squad captain to report what had happened. He told me to go directly to the police station and file charges.

Some months later, it was time to go to court for the trial of the scammer/assaulter. He had a lawyer and pleaded guilty. I talked to the prosecutor, who recommended punishment to the judge. I knew there would be no jail time, but I requested the maximum fine, to be earmarked as a donation to the first aid squad. He agreed. So did the judge.

It was some years later that an investigative reporter contacted me. He was looking into the scammer. I happily provided all the information that was known to me. His two-night piece aired a few weeks later, and it 100% exposed the scammer for what he was: a guy taking advantage of a national tragedy for money and sympathy. Now, THAT was sweet justice!

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