EMTs Who "Ignored" Dying Pregnant Woman May Face Jail

Reckless endangerment would be the likely charge if DA goes forward

Wednesday, Dec 23, 2009  |  Updated 2:05 PM EDT
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Outrage Over EMTs Who Failed to Help Dying Woman

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Eutisha Revee Rennix left behind a three-year-old son after the tragedy.

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Outrage Over EMTs Who Failed to Help Dying Woman

Mayor Bloomberg expresses outrage over the death of a pregnant woman who collapsed as EMTs on their lunch break did nothing to help.
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Two EMTs accused of callously ignoring the cries of a pregnant woman who lay dying on the floor of an Au Bon Pain in Brooklyn may face jail time.

Eutisha Rennix died on December 9 after six-year veteran Jason Green, 32, of Long Island City and four-year veteran Melissa Jackson, 32, of Queens Village, allegedly disregarded her pleas for help.

The FDNY employees have been suspended without pay as the investigation continues, and prosecutors are reportedly weighing charges.

If the District Attorney's office believes the duo acted criminally in connection with the incident earlier this month, Jackson and Green will probably face charges of reckless endangerment. Prosecutors are looking at statutes that require EMTs to help individuals whenever there's an emergency.

Investigators are working to determine if they left with their breakfast instead of helping Rennix, who was six months pregnant. Witnesses said the EMTs told workers at the cafe to call 911 and then left when they were asked to help the 25-year-old woman. She died later at a hospital. The baby died as well.

Rennix's mother, Cynthia, called the EMTs' behavior "inhuman."

Meanwhile, Rennix's family may soon order her body raised from the grave so an autopsy can be performed. The Medical Examiner's office has told the family an examination will be done at no charge if they decide to move forward.

The lawyer for the EMTs, Douglas Rosenthal, told NBCNewYork that his clients are being vilified by a rush to judgment.

Rosenthal told the Post, "While I cannot discuss any charges, as none have been served yet, I am confident the true facts and evidence will establish my clients acted appropriate to the best of their abilities."
    
Union officials have said the two could have done more but point out the pair was working as dispatchers at fire department headquarters at the time. City officials said Jackson did call 911 before she left the store with her breakfast.

Mayor Bloomberg has called the EMTs actions "unconscionable." When asked if "burnout" might have been a factor, the Mayor said, "Burnout? They were sitting there having coffee. How could they be burnt out? They're human beings.  Somebody is dying down the street and (people) say help them and they just sat there."

Rennix, who suffered from asthma, leaves behind a 3-year-old son.  Her twin brother and mother are in shock.

"She loved her son and would do anything for anybody," said her twin brother Eduane Rennix.  "To hear it was two EMS workers who didn't want to help is heartbreaking."

Rennix's death appears to mirror the tragic death of Esmine Green in Kings County Hospital's Psychiatric Emergency Room in June 2008.  Video showed Green collapse to the floor and yet doctors, nurses and security guards ignored her for hours.

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