Paramedic accused of flipping out on patient, deputy


   By Henry Pierson Curtis, Orlando Sentinel

KISSIMMEE, FL— An Osceola County Fire Rescue paramedic has been arrested on charges of attacking a Polk County deputy sheriff who was protecting a psychiatric patient from the outraged firefighter, records show.

Paramedic Jarred Stroup is accused of shoving Deputy Debra Martin on Jan. 27 at Florida Hospital Kissimmee, where she had custody of a handcuffed man awaiting admission to nearby Park Place Behavioral Center, records show.

For unknown reasons, the psychiatric patient became upset with Stroup shortly after 1 a.m. and referred to him with a slur. Stroup is accused of shoving aside the deputy sheriff as he lunged at the patient, records show.

The deputy separated both men, but Stroup, 35, continued taunting the patient. Martin ordered him to leave the emergency room, but Stroup returned "and caused the situation to become hostile again."

A nurse intervened and told the paramedic, "You know better than that. He is a psych patient."

Records state Stroup responded, "I don't care. I am too. I don't take (abuse from) anyone." And then, Stroup told the patient, "I'll kill you," records state.

When Stroup was interviewed by police later that night, the paramedic claimed the patient "got the better of him" and made him upset. Stroup said he was not rude to the deputy or hospital security guards but surveillance video showed Stroup shoved past the deputy to continue arguing with the patient, records show.

Kissimmee police filed a report on the incident with the Orange-Osceola State Attorney's Office, which charged Stroup with battery on a law enforcement officer, a felony, and disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence, both misdemeanors, records show.

Stroup surrendered this week at an undisclosed jail and was released on bond. A firefighter since 2006 who earns $37,000 a year, Stroup has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a Fire/Rescue internal investigation of what happened, according to county spokesman Larry Krause Jr.

Hcurtis@Tribune.com or 407-420-5257.