Police: Drunken onlooker interfered with paramedics


A Florida man is facing charges after police allege he repeatedly interfered as paramedics rendered aid to a patient.

Bethlehem police were dispatched to the LANTA bus station in the 600 block of Guetter Street about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday for a report of a man having difficulty breathing. As the patient was being evaluated by paramedics, police said Justin H. Ryan stood nearby and watched the conversation.

Ryan, of Jupiter, Fla., did not know the patient, according to police.

While police assisted paramedics, Ryan walked into the street and stood feet away from the back of the ambulance and the EMS crew, according to court records. Police said he eventually took out his cell phone and began recording paramedics and the patient in the back of the ambulance.

Police said Ryan was told several times to step back onto the sidewalk, and paramedics repeatedly diverted their attention from the patient toward Ryan.

While speaking with Ryan, an officer said he smelled alcohol and noted he was unsteady and slurred his words. Ryan was allegedly "highly belligerent" and refused to answer any basic questions, according to records. He allegedly ignored repeated orders to leave and instead walked toward the officer and held his cell phone within a foot of the officer's face.

Ryan allegedly pushed the officer's hand away and scuffled with the officer, who tried to take him into custody. The paramedics reportedly stepped away from the patient to help the officer detain Ryan.

The 39-year-old now faces single counts of resisting arrest, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and obstructing emergency services. District Judge Nicholas Englesson arraigned Ryan Wednesday, setting bail at $20,000. He failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 27.