Medic accused of flipping patient on ground suspended

He was suspended with pay following a disciplinary hearing and was charged with elderly abuse for the incident involving a hospice patient

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. — A paramedic accused of flipping a hospice patient off of a stretcher and onto a hospital floor has been suspended with pay following a disciplinary hearing.

Kenneth Hallenbeck, 35, was charged with abuse of an elderly or disabled person following a police investigation into a complaint that he overturned a stretcher when the patient refused to get out of it on Feb. 25, Florida Today reports.

Police spoke with witnesses and viewed surveillance video, which hasn’t been released to the public. The case is also being reviewed by the state attorney's office.

"He dumped (the patient) onto the ground in the triage unit at Wuesthoff Hospital," said Donna Seyferth, spokeswoman for the Rockledge Police Department. "There was some sort of conversation where the paramedic was telling the patient to get off the gurney. He had brought a chair over there for him and the patient said no."

The disciplinary hearing found Hallenbeck was in violation of several of the county agency's policies including fighting, threatening, intimidating other persons and displaying conduct that raises questions about an employee's ability to maintain public trust.

Hallenbeck, an 11-year veteran of the department, has the right to appeal the board’s decision. He has a court hearing on March 31.

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