By The Franklin Daily Journal
EDINBURGH — New information was released Monday on the investigation into official misconduct of a former Edinburgh Fire & Rescue emergency medical technician.
Jeramy G. Goodnight, 42 of Columbus, was charged last week with one count of official misconduct as a level 6 felony and one count of battery as a misdemeanor.
The charges stem from an investigation by Johnson County Sheriff’s Office into Goodnight’s behavior while responding to a car crash on Dec. 27, 2021.
Goodnight and other emergency medical services personnel were called to the scene of a car crash on County Road 650 South in the Camp Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area. When they arrived, the male driver was being uncooperative and belligerent with deputies, according to court documents filed with Superior Court 3.
The man continued to be belligerent while EMS personnel were loading him into the ambulance. As a result he hit his own head on the door of the vehicle and caused a laceration and great deal of bleeding, according to the documents.
Once inside the ambulance, Goodnight sat down at the head of the cot while a female EMT worked on strapping him onto the cot, to restrain him so he could be treated, court documents say.
Goodnight taped an improvised spit guard, consisting of an oxygen mask and tape, on his mouth to prevent him from spitting on anyone, court documents say.
While this was going on, the patient yelled profanities at a female EMT and she yelled back, asking him to stop, according to a transcript of the incident provided in court documents.
Goodnight got involved and screamed at the patient. During the screaming match deputies and fellow EMS personnel witnessed him apply direct pressure to the patient’s eyes, causing him pain, court documents detail.
The female EMT then told Goodnight to stop and told Goodnight to get out of the ambulance. Goodnight then got out of the ambulance and repeated to the patient that he shouldn’t talk to the female EMT like that, court documents say.
During the investigation, deputies spoke with the patient and other EMS personnel who were onsite.
Other EMS personnel who witnessed the incident said they felt Goodnight took that action to restrain the patient, who was bleeding from his head and getting blood all over the ambulance with every swing of his head, court documents say.
Another person who was at the scene but did not witness the incident said Goodnight’s personal relationship with the female EMT is likely another factor, given the patient’s behavior toward the woman, court documents say.
Goodnight told deputies he doesn’t remember what he said to the patient and that he used a pressure point technique to get the patient under control. His intent was to use a pressure point on the orbital socket to temporarily immobilize the patient, court documents say.
However, Edinburgh EMS and fire personnel have only received one training on combative patient restraint in the 21 years that Goodnight has worked with the agency, court documents say.
Two law enforcement training experts spoke with deputies about the incident and the appropriateness of Goodnight’s actions. The experts said the technique would only be appropriate in a life threatening situation where deadly force would be required, court documents say.
So, because the patient was restrained with his hands tied behind his back by the time Goodnight used this technique, both agreed it was inappropriate, court documents say.
Goodnight was suspended without pay on the night of the incident and an internal investigation was launched in addition to the sheriff’s office investigation, said Dustin Huddleston, Edinburgh’s town attorney. Goodnight was fired on Jan. 13 following the conclusion of the internal investigation, he said.
For the complete story, see Tuesday’s Republic.