Virginia Beach, VA – Firefighters were attacked and a hospital was forced to go on lockdown Monday night after people attacked ambulance crews at the scene of a motorcycle crash in Virginia Beach.
Officials said that when firefighters arrived on the scene in the 900-block of Atlantis Drive to try and save the driver of the motorcycle at about 9 p.m. on June 29, they were “pushed and kicked” by a mob of angry people, WAVY reported.
A Virginia Beach Fire Department daily briefing report said “an unruly crowd gathered and rapidly grew in size and out of control, surrounding the scene….”
The report said several firefighters were attacked as they tried to put the patient into the ambulance.
Virginia Beach police said the patient died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Some of the people who had attacked firefighters at the scene followed the ambulance to Virginia Beach General Hospital and jumped on the medic unit in the parking lot there, WAVY reported.
The briefing report said the people proceeded to “jump on, kick, and hit multiple EMS vehicles causing damage.”
“The emergency room was placed on a temporary lockdown as a proactive measure to ensure everyone’s safety” hospital spokesperson Lauren Patton said in an emailed statement to WAVY.
Patton added that the lockdown ended “without incident” but said she could not release any details due to patient privacy policies.
Virginia Beach Fire Spokesperson Art Kohn said no firefighters were injured during the melee, WAVY reported.
But the president of the firefighters’ union called the entire incident concerning.
“If the scene is not safe, it is impossible for us to adequately do our job. And then when we can’t do our job … the public suffers and it is dangerous for them as well,” Virginia Beach Professional Firefighters President Max Gonano told WAVY. “I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”
The identities of the people who attacked the firefighters were not known, nor was it clear what motive they had for attacking the first responders.
Friends of the family who were visiting a memorial to the patient at the site of the crash told WAVY that some family members were “extremely upset” after the wreck that killed their loved one.