Firefighter accused of threatening girl, 12, then hitting her Medical technician cursed at child, police report says

February 25, 1996|By TaNoah V. Sterling | TaNoah V. Sterling,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel County emergency medical technician accused of punching a 12-year-old girl in the face threatened to hit her before he went into her house and cursed at her after the incident, according to statements released Friday by county police.

Michael L. Swain Sr., 44, of the 2300 block of Sandy Mount Road in Finksburg was charged with assault. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday and suspended without pay, (P officials said.

A Fire Department spokesman said he expects an internal investigation into the six-year veteran's actions to be completed early this week. Mr. Swain has a clean record with the department, the spokesman said.

Officer Brian J. Fleming met Mr. Swain and another emergency medical technician outside a house in the 1700 block of Richfield Drive in Severn shortly after 4 p.m. Wednesday, a police report said.

The ambulance crew had been called by police to take a 12-year-old girl to the hospital. The girl, who suffered from depression and was on medication, told officers, "I want your gun so I can kill myself," police said.

She cried and screamed and asked family members who were restraining her to let her jump out a window, police said.

Officer Fleming told the EMTs he had transported the child to a hospital previously for the same condition, but this time she was unruly -- biting, kicking and spitting, police said.

The police report said that when Officer Fleming told Mr. Swain about the girl's behavior, the firefighter called her a name and threatened to slap her if she spit on him.

The girl seemed to calm down until Officer Robert B. Creech told her she was going to the hospital, when she began to struggle again, police said.

The girl's mother told police that she would prefer that the family put the girl on the stretcher because she did not want her handled roughly, the report said. Family members placed her on the stretcher while she struggled, and the EMTs and officers tried to restrain her. The girl spit in the air and that is when Mr. Swain hit her, police said.

"Almost instantly, Swain drew his right hand backward over his head and struck the child in the face with a clenched fist," the report said. Police quoted Mr. Swain afterward as saying, "The b -- -- spit on me. We're out of here," and he left the house.

Mr. Swain denied hitting the girl, Fire Department spokesman J. Gary Sheckells said.

"He said she spit on him and attempted to bite him while he was trying to restrain her arm. She pulled away, his hand slipped off and struck her in the face," Chief Sheckells said.

The family was incensed, police said. Officer Fleming followed the EMT out of the house and arrested him.

The girl continued to scream and complained of pain on the left side of her face, police said. She was treated at North Arundel Hospital for a bruise and released.

0 The family could not be reached for comment.

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