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Patient's attack hurts paramedics

The man was "howling at the moon'' and in a fighting mood when paramedics responded to an emergency call.

By BRADY DENNIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 9, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Paramedics thought they were going to treat chest pains Tuesday, not get them.

But that's what happened after 45-year-old Thomas Tomlinson, of Tampa, attacked them when they showed up, according to Pasco County Sheriff's Office reports.

Paramedic Timothy Haley left with injuries to his wrist and knee, and possibly a broken rib. Paramedic Thomas Morrissey suffered a sore and swollen jaw. Both left stunned.

The incident began when Tomlinson's friend Denise Collinsworth called 911 from her 5535 Connor Drive home. She told operators that Tomlinson was there and having chest pains.

Collinsworth told deputies that during her call, Tomlinson began yelling and cursing. He then called back 911 operator David Cook and threatened to kill him.

Collinsworth told deputies Tomlinson then put on a hospital gown before paramedics arrived, went outside and began "howling at the moon."

Paramedics told deputies that Tomlinson was in the driveway waving at them. Haley said they stopped the ambulance and went to the back to get a first aid kit.

He said he heard Tomlinson yelling at paramedics to get off his property or he would go inside and get a gun. Haley said Tomlinson then attacked Morrissey, punching and kicking at the truck and pinning him in the door.

Haley said he tried to calm Tomlinson down. He said Tomlinson continued his threats and got into a karate stance. As Haley turned to walk away, Tomlinson attacked him from behind, punching him in the chest and back, Morrissey told deputies.

Haley then swung his right arm, which contained a metal flashlight, and hit Tomlinson in the upper body and head. Haley and Morrissey eventually wrestled their attacker to the ground, the report stated.

Tomlinson continued to be belligerent as deputies attempted to arrest him. He told deputy David Hink, "I was run over by a four-ton truck. What makes me think I can't kill you?," the report stated.

Tomlinson was taken to University Community Hospital for treatment and later released.

He was charged with aggravated assault on a firefighter, criminal mischief and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer.

He later was taken to Land O'Lakes jail, where he was released Wednesday evening on his own recognizance.

State records show that Tomlinson has faced similar charges before. He pleaded no contest to battery charges on two separate occasion, in May and June 1997. He also was charged with aggravated assault and assault in 1986 and assault in battery in 1978, both in Tampa. It wasn't clear Thursday if he was convicted of those charges.

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