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Investigators say Edinburgh EMT pressed thumbs down on handcuffed man's eyelids

Charged with official misconduct, battery for December incident
Johnson County Jail.JPG
Posted at 9:03 AM, Jan 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-15 09:03:47-05

EDINBURGH — An emergency medical technician in Edinburgh will face charges after investigators say he assaulted a patient in an ambulance in late December.

Jeramy Goodnight, 42, of Columbus, was charged with official misconduct and battery for allegedly grabbing a handcuffed man’s head and pressing down on the man’s eyelids with his thumbs, according to a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff’s and Prosecutor’s offices.

“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,” Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess said in a written statement. “No one is above the law.”

Deputies with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single-vehicle crash on Dec. 27, 2021. The driver was injured and was believed to be intoxicated, according to the news release.

After medical personnel arrived, the man became increasingly belligerent inside the ambulance and was restrained with an oxygen mask to prevent him from spitting on anyone.

“After the individual continued to be belligerent to a female EMT inside the ambulance, Goodnight is alleged to have taken his hands, placed them over the head of the individual and pressed down on his eyelids with his thumbs, resulting in the individual screaming out in pain,” the news release said.

Two sheriff’s deputies who were inside the ambulance reported the incident to a supervisor, who requested an investigation. The man was not seriously injured.

“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,” Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva said in a written statement.

“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.”