Mechanicville man charged with stabbing firefighter who was reviving him

Friday, May 10, 2013
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Joel Burgess
Joel Burgess

— A man suffering from a drug overdose attacked the firefighter who was trying to save his life Thursday, police said.

Joel Burgess, 32, of Mechanicville, was found unresponsive at a house on 126th Street in Troy. Firefighters quickly administered treatment for a drug overdose, but as Burgess was “coming out of his stupor,” he lashed out at the man treating him, police said.

He stabbed the firefighter with a hypodermic needle.

Both Burgess and the firefighter were taken to Samaritan Hospital. But Burgess fled the hospital. He was found in Schaghticoke a short time later.

Police charged him with assault, a felony, and three misdemeanors: possession of a controlled substance, possession of a hyperdermic needle, and obstructing emergency medical services.

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May 10, 2013
4:29 p.m.
larryeis says...

A hopeless human being, hopelessly disoriented and not really conscious of his actions or their consequences! Had he been driving (luckily he was surely too comatose to drive) he would probably be found culpably guilty of driving while under the influence of drugs, but in a case like this it is hard to charge someone with being in a coma while under the influence (other than the illegal drug charges of possessing or using). People given naloxone (I assume that was the drug used and I wonder what dose was used)do become somewhat wild as they undergo instant withdrawal, and bizarre behavior within a minute or so of the drug's administration is often encountered. I feel badly for the firefighter who was doing his job and obviously doing it appropriately and well, but he just learned that potent drugs can have bad side effects for the administrator as well as the recipient! Had this happened in an emergency room no physician would think of bringing charges against a delirious patient emerging from a coma (but good ER personnel would also have made sure that the patient did not have ready access to to a potential weapon before giving the drugs to reverse the comatose state). At least when reversing the narcotization of a tiger or rhino the people involved know what precautions to take :-).

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