VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — First responders were “pushed and kicked” Monday night while trying to save the life of a motorcyclist, officials say.
When Virginia Beach Fire and EMS employees arrived shortly before 9 p.m., “an unruly crowd gathered and rapidly grew in size and out of control, surrounding the scene…,” according to a Virginia Beach Fire Department report.
As firefighters tried to treat the man involved in the crash, several were “pushed and kicked” the report said. The victim ultimately died from his injuries on the way to the hospital, according to Virginia Beach Police.
According to the report, some people from the crash scene followed an ambulance to the hospital and began 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” Sentara spokesperson Lauren Patton wrote in an email. The lockdown ended “without incident.” Patton said she wouldn’t elaborate further due to patient privacy.
Virginia Beach Fire spokesperson Art Kohn confirmed that no first responders were injured but deferred to Virginia Beach Police regarding a potential investigation or charges.
Virginia Beach Police didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
It is not known who attacked first responders and what was their motive.
Friends and family of the crash victim, who was not identified by police but was referred to by family as “C.J.,” said only that some family members at the scene were “extremely upset” in the immediate aftermath of the crash.
A memorial has been set up at the scene.
Max Gonano, president of Virginia Beach Professional Firefighters, called the 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,” Gonano said. “I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”