8 years for man who tried to stab ambulance worker
YOUNGSTOWN — Dustin L. James, 38, of Shields Road in Boardman was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after he was found guilty at trial of one count of felonious assault and three counts of felony assault.
He was charged after a Dec. 24, 2021, incident in which he tried to stab one ambulance worker with a hypodermic syringe and assaulted a second ambulance worker and a police officer.
Judge Maureen Sweeney of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court handed down the sentence after overseeing a three-day trial in January.
James was charged with the felonious assault of two ambulance workers, but the jury found him guilty on one — the count involving a Lane LifeTrans paramedic who injected James with the opiate reversal drug naloxone in the back of an ambulance on South Avenue in Boardman.
James was being transported to St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital for a suspected drug overdose when he became conscious as the paramedic was injecting him.
The jury found James not guilty of felonious assault involving the second ambulance worker, an emergency medical technician who was driving at the time James started fighting with the paramedic. The EMT pulled the ambulance to the side of the road, called 911 and went to the back of the ambulance to assist the paramedic.
The women were having a hard time controlling James, but Sgt. Glenn Patton with the Boardman Police Department was working a side job nearby, saw the ambulance on the side of the road and ran across a parking lot to enter the ambulance to assist.
The three lower-level assault charges were for assaulting both ambulance workers and Patton. Prosecutors explained that felonious assault alleges that a person caused or tried to cause physical harm to someone with a deadly weapon — in this case the hypodermic syringe.
The paramedic said James grabbed her hand holding the syringe, pulling the syringe out of his leg, then grabbed her other hand and put it behind her back, then put her on the floor next to the gurney, according to a Boardman police report.
During the scuffle, James tried to stab the paramedic with the syringe, she told police. When the driver opened the rear door of the ambulance, James had both of his hands on the paramedic and was trying to stab her with the used syringe.
The driver said James also tried to stab her but she knocked the used and broken syringe from his hand. James then struck the paramedic in the head with either his fist or elbow, police said.
Patton opened the ambulance rear door, seeing the paramedic on the floor of the ambulance yelling for James to “stop,” a report states.
The ambulance driver was holding James’ right arm. Patton pushed James’ right arm down while applying a pressure point to James’ side.
James let go of the paramedic’s arm and swung his arm around, hitting Patton in the jaw/lip area, a report states. Other officers arrived, and James was secured to the cot. The syringe was taken from his hand, and he was taken to the hospital for treatment of his overdose.
The two ambulance workers were treated at the hospital for bruises. Patton had swelling to his lip.