OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A miscarriage suffered by an Oklahoma ambulance worker after a man she was trying to help allegedly assaulted her has been ruled a homicide by the state medical examiner.
Oklahoma City police said Thursday that paramedic Joanna Hickerson was 17 weeks pregnant when the man kicked and kneed her in the abdomen on Dec. 18. They said Hickerson, 30, who works for the Emergency Medical Services Authority, suffered a miscarriage on Jan. 18 and the medical examiner determined the death occurred as a result of the attack and was, therefore, a homicide.
Sgt. Gary Knight said the death of an unborn child due to a criminal act is defined as a homicide under state law. It is Oklahoma City’s fourth homicide of the year.
A police report states that the 58-year-old man was initially arrested for assault and battery upon an emergency medical care provider. Police continue to investigate the incident and prosecutors have not decided what charges will be filed, said Scott Rowland, first assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County.
Hickerson and her partner on the job, Timothy Hickerson, who’s also her husband, made contact with the man after being dispatched to Oklahoma City’s northwest side to help someone who needed medical attention, according to the police report.
The report says the man told the emergency workers he was dehydrated and had a headache. After initially seeming uneasy about accompanying them to the ambulance, he got inside the vehicle and let them check his vital signs.
He was found to have high blood pressure, according to the report.
The workers inserted an IV and connected the man to equipment to monitor his condition. They were preparing to transport him to a hospital when he told Joanna Hickerson that he did not want to go, the report says.
As the woman tried to remove the IV from the man’s arm, he yelled “get away from me” and became “out of control, flailing his arms and his legs with his IV still attached to him,” according to the police report.
The workers were attempting to restrain him in the back of the ambulance when he attacked Joanna Hickerson, the report says.
Officers who arrived at the scene helped get the man under control. They found the paramedic inside the ambulance “crying hysterically, saying she had been kneed and kicked in the stomach,” according to the report.