L.A. County EMT arrested after being accused by LAPD Sergeant of assaulting patient

An L.A. County EMT says he was just doing his job of preventing a patient from hurting herself when the LAPD accused him of assault and took him to jail.

“I was completely powerless in this situation, they didn’t acknowledge my EMT identity, they didn’t acknowledge my uniform,” said Roryce Dirden.

The incident happened on Aug. 22, 2019. Dirden was in the middle of an emergency transport. In the back of the ambulance was an LAPD Sergeant, Dirden and a female patient who was reportedly having a seizure and had possibly been the victim of sexual assault.

“What I did is, I laid her down flat and I tightened up her safety belt due to her flailing body nature. I needed to tighten her down in a moving ambulance,” said Dirden.

But somehow the woman managed to unstrap herself. That’s when Dirden pulled her back onto the gurney.

He said, “There was a huge concern, once she’s off the gurney, I can’t dictate her behavior. A person is very capable of opening the door ambulance and jumping out.”

The Sergeant, however, accused Dirden of assaulting the patient and called for back up. When the officers arrived, Dirden was arrested.

“This is a traumatic life experience for me,” said Dirden.

After a few hours had passed, the LAPD reviewed the Sergeant's bodycam footage to determine if Dirden had indeed assaulted the patient.

“They reviewed her body cam and the footage was conclusive. I was acting within the parameters of my job and making decisions that I had to make. She assumed these actions to be wrong and she made her move.”

Dirden was eventually released and told it had been a misunderstanding.

FOX 11 News reached out to the LAPD for comment on this story but they declined stating the department doesn’t make comments on personnel matters.

“I would like the world to learn from this situation. We need to improve relations between cultures, between agencies between EMTs and law enforcement,” said Dirden.