Cleveland, OH – A man who was shot 16 times was rushed to the hospital in the back of a police cruiser on Jan. 14, after Cleveland EMS refused the officers’ pleas to transport the man for emergency medical treatment, police said (video below).
Police bodycam video of the scene showed the officers as they struggled to get help for the dying man.
According to Cleveland Police Department (CPD) reports, Donald Newberry, 22, suffered 16 gunshot wounds as he pulled out of his driveway, CNN reported. He drove himself approximately a quarter of a mile away from his home, before he stopped his vehicle in the town of Euclid.
Newberry, who was shot in Cleveland, had traveled just outside of the city’s limits, which caused the controversy with Cleveland EMS.
Euclid police officers found the seriously wounded man, and requested assistance from the CPD.
The video showed that when police discovered that Euclid EMS was tied up on a house fire on the other side of town, they requested assistance from Cleveland EMS.
"They got EMS coming but they're coming from South Euclid. Can we see if one of our guys can come over here a little faster?" police asked in the bodycam video.
Shockingly, Cleveland EMS refused to assist Newberry because he had traveled just outside their jurisdiction.
"Our EMS won't come," one of the Cleveland officers said in the video. "They won't come because it's in your city. Even though it's our victim, they won't come."
As Newberry begged for help, police scrambled to transport him to the hospital on their own in the back of a police car.
"Notify Euclid we're coming in with a male with gunshot wounds. It's taking too long for EMS to get here," an officer radioed the dispatcher in the video.
They rushed him to Euclid Hospital, which was just two minutes away. He was later transported by helicopter to Cleveland’s Metro Hospital.
Newberry was shot multiple times in the chest, shoulders, knees, right hand, and left foot, police said.
Newberry miraculously survived the attack, and was released from the hospital the weekend of Jan. 27, according to his girlfriend, whose name was not released.
An internal investigation has been launched with regard to Cleveland EMS’s lack of response, City of Cleveland Spokesman Dan Williams told CNN.
Records released on Jan. 24 indicated that current EMS policies do not specify how dispatchers should handle cases when a person injured in Cleveland travels outside of city limits.
But dispatch policies do indicate that EMS can dispatch an ambulance at another city’s request, provided an ambulance is free, and that the response time would be 15 minutes or less.
According to CNN, a 2013 Cleveland EMS directive noted that “a unit may travel outside of the City of Cleveland boundaries while transporting a patient to a hospital or while in response to a call.”
"If this had happened in Cleveland near the Euclid town line, without question we would have responded," Euclid Fire Chief Chris Haddock told CNN.
“Our protocols are to transport the patient to the closest and most appropriate hospital. Sixteen gunshot wounds would have been a trauma. And we would have transported to the closest most appropriate trauma hospital," Chief Haddock said.
You can see the bodycam of the incident below: