Saturday, September 22, 2018
Bizarre News

Okaloosa County paramedics snapped selfies with unconscious patients for fun, police say

To Kayla Renee Dubois, 24, and Christopher Wimmer, 33, the selfies they allegedly took were an amusing workplace rivalry.

From September 2015 to April of this year, police said, the pair would snap photos while on the job. It escalated into something of a friendly competition. Texts between the two paramedics egged each other on to "step up" their game, according to the sheriff's office in Okaloosa County.

For the paramedics, the photographs might have been a funny diversion. For their victims and the police, if this was a game it was a "sick, juvenile" one, as Okaloosa Sheriff Larry Ashley said in a press conference Thursday, via CW 55.

The two had launched what the police describe as a "selfie war," photographing patients as they lay in the backs of ambulances - often unconscious, intubated or anesthetized.

Dubois has been charged with a third degree felony for two counts of "interception and disclosure of oral communications." She was arrested in Navarre on Thursday morning. Wimmer, who Okaloosa authorities say turned himself in later that afternoon, faces the same charge — on seven counts — plus misdemeanor battery.

By police's best initial estimate, the photographs show 41 different patients, ages spanning 24 to 86. Three patients seem to have consented to taking their photographs with their paramedics.

As for the rest, two patients have since died. Five were identified as homeless. The most egregious instances allegedly involve Wimmer, who, the authorities said, took a photo while peeling open the eyelid of a sedated individual. In another image, he is seen next to an elderly woman, her breast visible.

In May, the selfie war came to an end. Wimmer resigned from his paramedic post at Okaloosa County EMS and Dubois was fired. Supervisors terminated three other individuals who knew about the selfies but kept mum. Police praised three nameless paramedics who provided tips about the photographs, which led to the arrests of Dubois and Wimmer.

CW 55 reported that the prosecutor in the case will seek the maximum sentences, which can be five to seven years for the felony charges.

That health care workers may abuse or otherwise take advantage of patients is a problem under increasing scrutiny. Occasionally, doctors acting inappropriately toward sedated individuals is highlighted in top journals like the Annals of Internal Medicine, which in 2015 published an account of sexual abuse by physicians.

In some cases, patients who surreptitiously record their surgeries awake to find disturbing details. One woman tucked an audio recorder in her hair prior to a hernia surgery; while she was unconscious, as The Washington Post reported in April, the audio revealed doctors disparagingly called her "Precious" and made a "Bill Cosby suggestion" about touching her. A Virginia man who recorded his colonoscopy on his smartphone, to remember the post-operation instructions, found that the anesthesiologist mocked and insulted him.

In other instances, casting such a light requires criminal complaints. In January, The Post reported a 29-year-old patient of David H. Newman, a New York emergency room doctor, filed a complaint alleging he fondled her and masturbated after giving the woman a strong dose of morphine.

Comments
Texas grandma kills 12-foot gator, says she’s finally avenged her miniature horse

Texas grandma kills 12-foot gator, says she’s finally avenged her miniature horse

A Texas great-grandmother thinks she’s finally gotten revenge on the massive alligator that ate her miniature horse a few years ago.It took just one shot for Judy Cochran to dispatch the 12-foot, 580-pound gator at her ranch Sunday in Goodrich...
Published: 09/20/18
Novelist who wrote about ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ charged with murdering her husband

Novelist who wrote about ‘How to Murder Your Husband’ charged with murdering her husband

Nancy Crampton Brophy seemed to have a knack for writing about the murder of spouses.The Portland-based romance novelist authored books about relationships that were "wrong" but "never felt so right," often featuring bare-chested men on the cover. In...
Published: 09/16/18

Published: 09/11/18
Suspect flees from police into toxic Florida algae - then desperately pleads for help

Suspect flees from police into toxic Florida algae - then desperately pleads for help

Within seconds of splashing into the water as he fled police, Abraham Duarte knew he had made a mistake. Soon he was retching and pleading desperately for the help of the Cape Coral, Florida, officers he had been attempting to escape, figuring that e...
Updated one month ago
First day of kindergarten? Chinese school welcomes kids with a pole dancer

First day of kindergarten? Chinese school welcomes kids with a pole dancer

BEIJING - A Chinese kindergarten principal has apologized after allowing a pole dancer to perform on the school’s opening day. Yes, you read that right. A Chinese kindergarten thought it was a good idea to have a scantily clad woman writhing around a...
Updated one month ago
‘Monster’ lizard is menacing a family in their backyard. Even trappers are stumped

‘Monster’ lizard is menacing a family in their backyard. Even trappers are stumped

This is one giant lizard the meteor missed — and it’s in a Davie neighborhood.According to Martin County Trappings & Removals, a six-foot Nile monitor or an Asian monitor is driving a Davie family nuts. So far, it’s not cooperating with the rescue gr...
Updated one month ago
Hold the Mayo! Florida town is changing its name temporarily

Hold the Mayo! Florida town is changing its name temporarily

ORLANDO — Mayo, Fla., is holding the mayo, at least for a few days.The mayor of this tiny town of less than 1,500 residents, located where Florida’s Panhandle morphs into a peninsula, was announcing Saturday that the city is switching its name to "Mi...
Updated one month ago
A man thought female drivers are ‘incompetent’ - so he shot them, police say

A man thought female drivers are ‘incompetent’ - so he shot them, police say

Nicholas Dagostino hated female drivers, authorities say, so much so that he shot them while they were driving.Police in Texas linked Dagostino to two recent shootings in which women said they were shot in the arm. Both incidents happened in broad da...
Updated one month ago
Drug-smuggling tunnel to Mexico found under abandoned KFC in Arizona

Drug-smuggling tunnel to Mexico found under abandoned KFC in Arizona

The hole in the tile of the former Kentucky Fried Chicken was small: eight inches in diameter, barely large enough to fit a 15-piece family bucket. It could have easily been overlooked as just another deteriorating aspect of an abandoned fast-food re...
Updated one month ago