Listen Live

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind.–An EMT in Edinburgh is charged with battery and misconduct for how police say he treated a man in an ambulance.

Jeramy Goodnight, 42, of Columbus is charged with one count of official misconduct (level 6 felony) and one count of battery (misdemeanor).

Police say the incident happened December 27, 2021, when a driver was involved in a single-car crash and sustained physical injuries. Investigators believe he may have also been drunk. Because of his injuries, medical personnel was brought to the scene to examine the driver. He was put inside an ambulance. Goodnight was part of the personnel called to the scene.

While he was inside the ambulance, he was becoming “increasingly belligerent.” The man was restrained with an oxygen mask to “prevent him from spitting on anyone,” said a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) on Saturday. He continued his belligerent behavior and police say Goodnight took his hands and placed them on the man’s head and pressed down on his eyelids with his thumbs. The man “screamed out in pain, but did not suffer any kind of serious injury.”

The JCSO says two deputies witnessed Goodnight’s behavior in the ambulance and reported it to a supervisor. The supervisor requested “someone from the investigations division look into the matter.”

“I applaud my deputies for bringing this to the attention of a supervisor immediately, which allowed my department to swiftly move to investigate this incident and forward our findings to the Prosecutor’s Office for charges. No one is above the law,” said Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess.

Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva said this situation is an anomaly and not reflective of the fire/EMT providers in Johnson County.

“Police and fire personnel routinely deal with intoxicated or belligerent people. This individual was handcuffed and not a physical threat to the safety of anyone inside that ambulance. Part of doing this kind of job is having a thick skin and letting comments slide, and that’s exactly what should have happened here. We will now seek to hold Mr. Goodnight accountable for his alleged actions in choosing otherwise,” said Villanueva.