It’s Not Illegal to Be Epileptic

PITTSBURGH (CN) – Mt. Lebanon police arrested and falsely charged a woman with aggravated assault for her actions during a grand mal epileptic seizure, handcuffed her, exacerbating the seizure, and falsely charged her with drug possession, also as a result of her epilepsy, the woman claims in Federal Court.

     Jessica Yochum claims that a Mt. Lebanon cop and EMS workers treated her “as a criminal suspect when she was in fact in the throes of an epileptic seizure.”
     She claims the defendants exacerbated her seizure by handcuffing her, falsely charged her with aggravated assault for biting an EMS worker on the hand during her seizure, told hospital workers her condition was a result of taking cocaine or amphetamines, and filed false criminal charges against her.
     Yochum claims the Mt. Lebanon cop and the Medical Rescue Team South Authority EMS workers violated “standard procedure” for treating a person suffering an epileptic seizure by failing to let her seizure run its course through a “hands-off approach.”
     She claims that “properly trained emergency medical personnel would know that a person experiencing an epileptic seizure who is subject to a forcible restraint, is likely to respond aggressively and/or violently to such a restraint on account of that person’s impaired mental condition arising from the epileptic seizure.”
     Yochum claims that while was in the hospital, Officer Jeffrey Frolo berated her and repeatedly accused her of using illegal drugs, though her blood test results were negative for drugs.
     She claims that the false criminal charges were later dismissed for lack of probable cause.
     Yochum seeks punitive damages for false arrest, excessive force, the filing of false criminal charges, and civil rights and constitutional violations. She is represented by Timothy O’Brien.

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