New York News
Assistant DA pleads guilty in EMT assault, avoids jail
NEW YORK -- A Brooklyn prosecutor pleaded guilty Wednesday to reckless assault in an attack on an EMT that incited calls of preferential treatment.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Jaccarino was accused of punching and choking EMT Teresa Soler in the back of her ambulance last fall.
Jaccarino was sentenced to 10 days community service and must complete an alcohol treatment program, but he will avoid jail time.
Critics say Michael Jaccarino got a "get out of jail free" card Wednesday.
"Where is the justice for us? Who speaks for us? Who takes our side? Who is our voice?" Soler said.
Ms. Soler and her partner were called to the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge by police where Jaccarino was wandering the roadway in a drunken stupor.
When she tried to strap him into the back of the ambulance, Jaccarino went berserk.
He grabbed her by the neck, choked her, and then punched her repeatedly in her face, her stomach, and her legs.
Prosecutors revealed Wednesday that Jaccarino ran-up a $300 bar tab with his friends that night.
"I have no memory of that night, of being on the Brooklyn Bridge, of being in an ambulance," Jaccarino told the judge. "I feel absolutely horrible, devastated by what happened. The only thing I can do is apologize."
The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and Jaccarino was sentenced to 10 days of community service.
"He recklessly caused this assault by ingesting all of that alcohol. It put him in a position where he wouldn't understand the risk of hurting somebody because you put yourself in a position where you are out of it," said Gary Farrell, Jaccarino's attorney.
The 50 medics and EMTs who attended the proceedings said the sentence is outrageous.
"Ten days of community service? Are you kidding me?" said Giannella Robalino, an FDNY EMT.
"There was no sincerity in his face, this guy should be disbarred," said Israel Mirando, of the Local #2507 EMT's Union.
Teresa Soler says it's a slap in the face.
"Where's my justice? Where's my colleagues justice for everybody who's gotten assaulted?" Soler said.
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