By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - A Brooklyn prosecutor has been
arrested and charged with assaulting and attempting to strangle
an emergency medical technician who was taking him to the
Michael Jaccarino, 30, was arraigned Saturday before
Manhattan Criminal Court Judge March Whiten on charges of
second-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or
blood circulation, according to the Manhattan district
attorney's office. He was released on his own recognizance and
is due back in court on Jan. 8.
Jaccarino declined to comment through his lawyer, James
Koenig. A spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office
did not immediately comment. Other media outlets, including The
Wall Street Journal, reported that Jaccarino has been suspended
from his job without pay while the charges are pending. Neither
the DA's office nor Jaccarino's attorney could confirm these
EMTs picked up Jaccarino after midnight on Nov. 10 after
receiving police reports of an intoxicated man near the base of
the Brooklyn Bridge, according to a criminal complaint.
Jaccarino entered the ambulance voluntarily, but once the
vehicle started to cross the bridge, he removed his seat belt,
said Israel Miranda, president of the local EMTs' union.
When EMT Teresa Soler tried to refasten it, Jaccarino
allegedly attacked her with his fists and attempted to choke
her, according to the criminal complaint. The assault left Soler
with a black eye, scratches and bruising on her chest, wrist and
face, the complaint said.
A graduate of SUNY Buffalo Law School, Jaccarino has worked
at the Brooklyn district attorney's office since 2008.
The arrest comes just weeks after Brooklyn District Attorney
Charles Hynes called for legislation that would increase the
penalties for defendants convicted of assaulting an EMT or
paramedic, and assign a special assistant district attorney to
review and prosecute these cases.
Miranda said that there have been about 70 reported assaults
on emergency medical service workers, including EMTs, in New
York City so far this year.
The case is People v. Jaccarino, New York Criminal Court,
For Jaccarino: James Koenig of Pollard & Koenig.
(Additional reporting by Joseph Ax)
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