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Detox Patient Fights West Warwick Ambulance Crews En Route to Hospital

The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Warwick Police Department is located at 99 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Warwick, RI – A 55-year-old West Warwick man being transported to Kent County Hospital for alcohol detox attacked the firemen trying to help him Dec. 19, forcing the ambulance he was riding in to stop near Tollgate Road.

Warwick Police Officer Randy Francis and one other officer responded to the area at 11:36 p.m. to assist the EMTs trying to restrain Edwin J. Almanza, 55, of 10 John St., Apt. 1, West Warwick, where a second West Warwick ambulance had stopped to aid the first crew, according to the officer’s report.

Francis noted seeing several firemen struggling on the ground with Almanza, and aided them, placing the man in handcuffs. Almanza was highly combative during the process, Francis said in his report. Almanza also appeared highly intoxicated, he said.

Francis helped the firemen place Almanza on a backboard and strap him to it, after which he was transported the remaining five miles to the hospital.

West Warwick Fireman Benjamin Kowalik stated that he had been called to Boneheads Wing Bar at 131 Washington St. to pick up Almanza, who was highly intoxicated. Kowalik said he strapped Almanza down five times, but the man undid the restraints on the way to the hospital and became “extemely violent” with him.

West Warwick fireman Jesse Hall, on the rescue crew following the first ambulance, said he saw Kowalik’s ambulance swerve abruptly and stop. Then he saw the driver of Kowalik’s ambulance exit the cab to help Kowalik in the back.

Inside the back of the ambulance, he said, Kowalik was being assaulted by Almanza.

“When the doors unlocked, I pulled the patient and the tech from the rescue to the ground. We then restrained the patient on the ground until Warwick PD arrived,” Hall said.

Hall reported seeing blood and abrasions on Kowalik’s face.

Francis said Hall also sustained injuries to his hands during the struggle, Francis reported.

At the hospital, Almanza was also combative with hospital staff, Francis reported. After his release, he was transported back to Warwick Police Headquarters at 99 Veterans Memorial Parkway, where he was charged with assault of police officers and other officials, and one count of disorderly conduct.

He is scheduled for a court screening on the charges Jan. 26.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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