Hearing set for EMT accused of hitting girl


A county emergency medical technician accused last week of punching a 12-year-old patient in the face will be the subject of a departmental hearing, a Fire Department spokesman said yesterday.

Michael Swain, 44, of the 2300 block of Sandy Mount Road, Finksburg, could be fired pending the outcome of the hearing next month.

Battalion Chief J. Gary Sheckells said the department concluded its investigation Monday morning. It charged Mr. Swain yesterday with conduct unbecoming a Fire Department employee, use of offensive language and displaying discourteous behavior to the public.

Mr. Swain has been suspended without pay until the March 12 hearing. A three-member board will hear the case and determine any punishment.

Police charged Mr. Swain with assault and battery Feb. 21 after he and another EMT were called to a house in the 1700 block of Richfield Drive in Severn to take the 12-year-old girl for a psychiatric evaluation. Police could not take her to the hospital in a cruiser because she was biting, kicking and spitting, police said.

When an officer told Mr. Swain about the girl's behavior, he threatened to slap her if she spit on him, police said.

As the girl's family was putting her on the stretcher, she spit into the air and Mr. Swain "drew his right hand backward over his head and struck the child in the face with a clenched fist," a police report said.

Police said that Mr. Swain cursed at the girl immediately afterward.

Mr. Swain denied hitting the girl, Mr. Sheckells said.

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