Imagine being shot multiple times, getting first aid from police but then not having an ambulance willing to take you to the hospital as you slowly bleed out in a snowy street.
That nightmare scenario was a Cleveland-area man’s reality earlier this month.
Ronald Newberry, 22, was shot 16 times on January 14 as he was pulling out of his driveway, according to a Cleveland Division of Police report. He managed to drive about a quarter of a mile down the street before stopping and ended up just outside Cleveland’s city limits, in the suburb of Euclid, Ohio.
Police found Newberry and gave CPR while they waited for an ambulance — which never came.
‘Our EMS won’t come’
In a body-cam video of the incident, police can be heard talking about getting an ambulance.
But they ran into a problem. All ambulances from Euclid emergency medical services were tied up with other calls, so they would need to wait for an ambulance from a city farther away. And Cleveland EMS refused to send an ambulance because the man, although he was shot in the city, drove into Euclid.
“Our EMS won’t come,” says one of the Cleveland officers in the video. “They won’t come because it’s in your city. Even though it’s our victim, they won’t come.”
All the while, Newberry pleads with the officers for help.
“Please take me to the hospital,” he says in the video. “Please, I’m getting light-headed. I can’t breathe.”
The officers, from the Cleveland and Euclid police departments, then put the man in the back of a Cleveland officer’s patrol car and took him to Euclid Hospital, a two-minute ride away.
Case under review
Newberry suffered multiple wounds to his chest, shoulders, knees, right hand and left foot, the police report said. He was later flown by helicopter to Metro Hospital in Cleveland for further treatment.
His girlfriend, who did not want to be named, told CNN that Newberry survived the shooting and was released from the hospital last weekend.
Dan Williams, a spokesman for the city of Cleveland, told CNN in a statement that the case is under review.
“An internal review is being conducted,” he said.
A Cleveland EMS directive from November 2013 states that “a unit may travel outside of the City of Cleveland boundaries while transporting a patient to a hospital or while in response to a call.”
Euclid Fire Chief Chris Haddock told CNN that at the time of the incident, Euclid EMS was dealing with a house fire across town.
“If this had happened in Cleveland near the Euclid town line, without question we would have responded,” Haddock said.
“Our protocols are to transport the patient to the closest and most appropriate hospital. 16 gunshot wounds would have been a trauma. And we would have transported to the closest most appropriate trauma hospital.”