In court on drug charge, paramedic still gives CPR

July 09, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

Correction

In a July 9 story, a man convicted of marijuana possession should have been identified as Philip H. Kiesling.

As Richard H. Kiesling -- charged with possessing marijuana and a handgun while he was employed at BWI as a paramedic -- arrived at the Glen Burnie district court building yesterday morning for a hearing, he saw a man suffering a heart attack.

Instinct took over, and Kiesling, who carries a stethoscope with him, began administering CPR to the man, assisted by another paramedic who happened to be in the building.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

The victim, Paul Castleman of Crofton, a security guard for K mart who was in court to testify in a shoplifting case, was rushed to North Arundel Hospital, where he died a short time later.

Kiesling went up to the second-floor courtroom, where he was found guilty of marijuana possession and received a six-month suspended jail sentence.

He was given probation before judgment on the handgun charge, which means the conviction will be cleared from Kiesling's record if he successfully completes the 12 months probation.

Witnesses said Mr. Castleman had just entered the building about 8:30 a.m. and was beginning to walk up the stairs when he collapsed. Kiesling's attorney, Michael E. Kaminkow, walked into the courthouse and saw his client performing CPR on Mr. Castleman.

During the sentencing, Mr. Kaminkow said Kiesling, despite the conviction, hopes to work as a paramedic again someday. "He loves his profession and is working very hard on his personal life to make sure this doesn't interfere . . .," he told Judge Donald M. Lowman.

Mr. Kaminkow asked that Judge Lowman take that into account, pointed to Kiesling's actions in trying to save Mr. Castleman's life, and requested probation before judgment on both counts.

Kiesling was a paramedic at Baltimore Washington International Airport on Oct. 7, 1991, when a fellow paramedic who suspected him of smoking marijuana on the job called the state police.

A search with a police dog turned up nothing, but a search of Kiesling's trash during the first week of the following December produced a plastic bag with 134 marijuana seeds and some stems.

The state police obtained a search warrant for Kiesling's Pasadena home on Dec. 10, 1991, and found more marijuana seeds and stems, as well as smoking paraphernalia. "He was smoking a joint when the police took the door down," Assistant State's Attorney Steven N. Leitess said.

Police also found a loaded .38-caliber revolver under the driver's seat of Kiesling's car, leading to a charge of illegally transporting a handgun.

A spokeswoman for the state Aviation Administration was unable yesterday to confirm whether Kiesling had either been placed on leave from is job or fired.

Kiesling faces an additional charge of battery that will be tried in county Circuit Court stemming from his alleged October 1991 assault on the paramedic who first called police, court records show.

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