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Woman Suffering From Seizure Arrested For Assault

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Woman Suffering From Seizure Arrested For Assault

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Imagine calling 911 for medical assistance and winding up in jail. That's what happened to a South Side grad student who says, instead of providing treatment, paramedics had her arrested. CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports.

Kourtney Wilson, 23, was charged with assaulting three paramedics. But Kourtney says that's impossible because she was in the midst of a seizure. And she says, what she deserved was treatment, not a trip to jail.

"I've had many seizures and been in the hands of many paramedics, and I've never had such an awful experience," Kourtney said.

Kourtney has a history of lupus, and around 12:30 Monday afternoon, she had a seizure at her Woodlawn home.

"She just started shaking, violently shaking and her teeth were clattering," said Tiffini Williams, Wilson's roommate.

That's when Tiffini called 911and paramedics responded.

"I just remember being strapped down, feeling like I was in a straitjacket, and I just kept taking off the strap, like 'please no, please no', not really understanding everything that was going on," Kourtney said.

But Tiffini repeatedly confronted the paramedics about what she saw as heavy-handed tactics, telling them, "'I called you all to help her but you're being too rough with her. It's almost like you're assaulting her.' As soon as I said that, one of the EMT guys pointed to Kourtney and says, 'you're going to jail.'"

Kourtney says she was dragged down the stairs of her house in handcuffs to a waiting police car.

She was taken first to Grand Crossing District on 71st, then to South Shore Hospital, then to the Pullman District on 111th Street, and finally, to Roseland Hospital. There, she finally got treatment.

"They drug tested me and then they provided me with an IV of seizure medication. By then, it was about 10:00 at night," Kourtney said.

In other words, she received treatment about nine hours after her arrest. And her release papers confirm her diagnosis as "seizure disorder."

Kourtney and her roommate believe the paramedics and police made some degrading assumptions about her, the neighborhood and her condition.

"They come to the hood, see a girl on the floor, and they think she's on drugs," Tiffini said.

Now, Kourtney says she's wary of calling 911 for help in the future.

"I can essentially die the next time I have a seizure, or be in jail again. That's a very scary thing to think about," she said.

The police report says Kourtney punched two paramedics and kicked a third.

Fire Department records indicate Kourtney refused treatment from paramedics. But a fire department spokesman says he's checking to find out more about what happened.

Paramedics have a perilous job and do come under attack. What is unclear in this caseĀ is how a patient having a seizure can also be a willful assailant.

(© MMX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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