Rescue Workers Plan Rally for EMT Allegedly Attacked By Brooklyn Prosecutor
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — The union representing emergency workers rallied its members to turn out in force to support a female EMT who was allegedly attacked by a Brooklyn assistant district attorney, saying prosecutors are planning to go easy on the defendant.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Jaccarino, 30, was arrested Nov. 10 after being accused of choking and punching 46-year-old EMT Teresa Soler as she attempted to bring Jaccarino to the hospital. He's due back in Manhattan court Tuesday, prompting the union to call on its members to turn out in force.
"It is time to step up and support your sisters and brothers who have been assaulted while doing their job," the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics & Fire Inspectors FDNY Local 2507 Vice President Joseph Conzo wrote in a memo to members.
"On Tuesday, January 8, 2013, our sister who was viciously attacked by a Brooklyn district attorney will be in court to seek justice. It is said that the Manhattan D.A. office will not present this case to a Grand Jury and that he will plea bargain. Members should be outraged..."
According to police, an apparently intoxicated Jaccarino was crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot early on the morning of Nov. 10 when Soler's ambulance picked him up to take him to Beth Israel Medical Center. Cops said that Jaccarino began unstrapping the belt securing him to a stretcher, choked Soler and struck her in the face.
Jaccarino was arraigned on felony assault and misdemeanor choking charges in November and suspended by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.
The union's president, Israel Miranda, told DNAinfo.com New York that a distraught Soler recently called him, saying the Manhattan DA would not present the case to the grand jury because prosecutors did not believe that Jaccarino had any intent to harm her. He said Soler was told Jaccarino would likely get some kind of plea deal.
"She was very disturbed by that, and rightfully so," Miranda said. "This is a person who takes an oath to represent the law and they should be held to a higher standard than that."
The Manhattan District Attorney's office, which is handling the case, declined to comment.
Miranda said the punch left Soler not only with black eyes and neck pain but also with psychological scars that still linger.
"She recently returned to work and on her second or third job in, she had an alcoholic patient," he said. "She had a reaction — she was really freaking out inside and called me crying."
The union memo urged members to show up at Manhattan Criminal Court's Part F at 9:30 a.m.
"In numbers, we send a message that this is not acceptable."