An emergency responder in Michigan is on leave after spectators caught him pushing and pinning a man, who said he was "just trying to help out," to the ground.
Gregory Barnett, a Family Dollar employee on duty Tuesday in Saginaw, Mich., left the store to help divert traffic around a scene where EMTs were assisting an unconscious person in the parking lot, MLive reported.
“There was a guy in a truck that had some kind of medical emergency, and they were doing something with him,” Barnett told the local news site. “I was directing traffic in the parking lot because there were a lot of people, and it got kind of congested.”
Although the video doesn't show what happened to cause the medic to pin Barnett to the ground, video shows the unidentified EMT holding him for more than a minute. (Image source: MLive video screenshot)
Barnett claimed that one of the medics cursed at him, saying he was in his space.
“He came at me and bumped into me, so I pushed him, and then he threw me to the ground," Barnett said.
That's when someone in the crowd that had begun to gather pulled out a cellphone to start filming.
When the video begins, Barnett is already pinned to the ground, the medic holding his head to the pavement and pressing his knee onto Barnett's back.
“I kept asking him, 'What’s the problem?' and telling him I work here,” Barnett said, according to MLive. “I’m almost 60 years old and can’t tussle with that guy. I didn’t want any problems. I was just trying to help out.”
At one point, a woman intervened and said, "you need to let this man up."
The EMT resisted doing so at first, but Barnett was eventually freed and walked away.
Watch the footage:
After the incident, the video went viral locally. The EMT working for Mobile Medical Response was put on leave while the company conducts an investigation.
“MMR is taking this incident very seriously as we expect our staff to act professionally and respectful at all times," Lynn Schutter, director of community relations for MMR, told MLive.