North Smithfield EMT on probation for striking woman during August arrest

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – An EMT who reportedly struck an arrested woman during a chaotic incident in August has been placed on a six month disciplinary probation by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

William LaBarre of North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Service was responding to a call at police headquarters Monday, Aug. 8 after a woman, who had been arrested following a fight at the Hilltop Inn, passed out while in custody.

Mariah Dubois, 20, of Woonsocket, was ultimately charged with assault of a police officer and other official, along with two counts of disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer and resisting arrest.

NRI NOW reported on the arrest in September, obtaining a copy of the police report, which detailed the incident in which Dubois fought first with another motel patron and then with officers, according to police.

One in custody, Dubois told officers she was having an asthma attack and began going in and out of consciousness, according to the arrest report. A rescue was called, and she kicked Labarre while being secured to a stretcher in the ambulance. He responded by calling her an expletive and striking her in the leg with a closed fist.

She kicked at him again several times, eventually striking the EMT with enough force to push him out of the open doors of the rescue and onto the ground. LaBarre reportedly tried to get back into the rescue but was held back by police.

Health Department Emergency Medical Services Chief Jason Rhodes said that LaBarre’s behavior “constitutes unprofessional conduct,” in a consent agreement placing the EMT on a six month probation.

According to reports this week, LaBarre was initially criminally charged with simple assault and battery and disorderly conduct, but Attorney General Peter Neronha’s office dismissed the charges.

A grand jury, meanwhile, declined to indict Dubois, but she was held due to probation from a previous arrest.

In the consent agreement with the Health Department from Dec. 12, LaBarre was ordered to review EMS protocols and submit quarterly reports on his conduct and performance. He also reportedly attended anger management and de-escalation trainings.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Mary, is it possible for you to be positive? always adding nothing but criticism. a great Monday morning quarterback. please find something that makes you happy this year. your negativity is not something the world needs right now.

  2. Maybe time to retire. Not worth the hassle to defend yourself like that on a job anymore. Getting worse and worse out there. I am seeing more and more police, nurses and doctors losing the will to care for others as they once did, just retire or do minimum safer work like teaching part time. If she had had a concealed knife for example, what then. Glad he did not hit his head flying out the door. Unbelievable stuff.

    • A six year old just shot a teacher in Newport News, VA. Suggesting a person become a teacher as it is “minimum, safer work,” leads me to believe that you never spent anytime in the classroom. Teaching is an incredibly difficult job and we do not have enough of them. Many teachers are underpaid and protected only by SRO’s that are now stationed in schools and the vast majority of teachers are women. Please review the federal statistics on violence in the classroom. And don’t forget Columbine, Sandy Hook and Uvalde and then let me know, just how much safer teachers are.

      • My friends who are doctors and nurses teach at the collegiate level…..another just left to do just that also…and my child too. Kindly do not be rude, ask questions before attacking on what exactly I was referring to and in what capacity. Thank you.

        • Respectfully, Ida, I know people in those very same positions. You referenced educating as safer work. I pointed out that it was not. My parents were educators and I spent time in the classroom also. My comments were not intended as rudeness, just factual. And I applaud your child for choosing to educate others. It is a very challenging profession at any level. And reference the EMT, he assaulted a patient. He deserved the discipline that was given.

          • I never disputed any discipline…just suggested he retire if the challenge is too great now with the increasing culture, seek other options, a personal decision.…and I will not dispute that colleges and universities have their own set of issues. But from facts, seem to be safer than elementary and high schools, some more than others.
            As far as medical, after 40 yrs in the profession, with all the stress and illnesses now, and having worked in multiple states, in multiple capacities, it too wears a person as education does. Burn out.
            But I will say again, not all schools are unsafe, period. Unless you have worked in multiple states, multiple capacities, your experience is limited to your area. If you feel you can supply the stats relevant to all states, all schools, due to your experience there, then please do so.
            Nor will I kick a man when he is down, because we do not know all the facts. I respect those closest to him in having made their decisions as to his discipline. Yes, it was a patient in serious distress, and he lost it. How many hrs had he worked? Their shifts are sometimes quite long, tedious, and away from home a day or two at a time. I do not know his individual schedule, can only go by my firefighter EMT/Paramedic friends. Lending some empathy goes a long way. Nuf said.

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