MANHATTAN, New York (WABC) -- A man has been arrested after he allegedly stabbed an EMT Wednesday night in Manhattan.
Officials say 48-year-old Rudy Garcia was picked up at 94th Street and Amsterdam at around 8:50 p.m., after a call about cardiac arrest.
The ambulance was on 59th Street when Garcia allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed the EMT multiple times in the abdomen and leg, officials said.
Authorities say the 25-year-old EMT is expected to survive.
Cell phone video shows emergency workers gathered by her side. An officer is shown picking up what appears to be the knife used in the stabbing.
Officials say the EMT was initially treated at Mount Sinai West, before she was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside.
"It's hard to think that someone that is the EMT is going to be hurt in the ambulance. It's so difficult to understand," one witness said.
The attack was not far off from how Cpt. Allison Russo died last September. The FDNY paramedic was stabbed while just standing outside her station in Queens.
It's becoming a troublesome trend Oren Barzilay says. He's the president of EMS Local 2507.
His union represents 4,100 FDNY EMTs. He says attacks on them jumped from 200 in 2020 to 400 in 2021.
According to the FDNY, there have been 121 attacks on EMTs so far this year.
"Our members are used as practice punching bags and we need more police presence with us on a lot of these calls," Barzilay said.
The EMT's union released a statement saying:
"The horrific stabbing of an EMT by her patient last night underscores the dangers faced by emergency medical workers every day. 1199SEIU is closely monitoring the situation and our members are praying for their colleague's swift and full recovery. Violence against healthcare workers is all too common, and New York must do all it can to ensure that these frontline heroes are able to do their jobs free from the threat of physical harm. More resources must be directed towards the staffing and safety of EMTs and paramedics citywide, so that workers aren't placed in situations where they are unable to protect themselves. Ensuring appropriate staffing levels, shifts, rest time, enhanced training on de-escalation and situational awareness, and the support of other first responders is imperative. All workers have the right to a safe workplace, and in the field of healthcare-where often every second counts to save a life-this is especially critical."
Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday, acknowledged the challenges EMTs face.
"So many like her are out there every single day, taking care of New Yorkers under incredibly difficult conditions," he said. "I would like to personally thank her for the service."
Garcia was arrested and charged with three counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
Authorities say he is no stranger to police. Garcia has eight prior arrests, including for criminal possession of a weapon, assault, menacing with a weapon. Authorities say Garcia headbutted an officer back in 2017.
The investigation is ongoing.
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