The state of Massachusetts on Tuesday dismissed allegations by a gay man who said he was physically and verbally abused by paramedics who delayed his treatment after he was shot and attacked with a hatchet at a gay bar.
The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services ruled that Robert Perry’s complaint about a delay in treatment was “invalid,” saying it could not substantiate his allegations.
Mr Perry, 53, told The Associated Press that he was “very disappointed” by the ruling, and added: “The truth didn’t come out.”
“I feel just like the OJ Simpson verdict because I’ll have to live with the verdict,” he added.
According to The AP, Mr Perry was one of three men seriously injured when 18-year-old Jacob Robida went on a rampage in February at the Puzzles Lounge. Perry was shot through the shoulder and struck on the head with a hatchet, which made a 4 1/2-inch gash and broke his cheekbone.
Robida killed two people in Arkansas while fleeing authorities, then fatally shot himself after a police chase.
Mr Perry, who is a paramedic, told The AP his treatment was delayed, he was told to shut up and an oxygen mask was smashed into his face “as punishment.” He said he was poorly treated because he’s a gay man who was attacked at a known gay bar.
The AP reports that the state found it couldn’t determine whether Perry’s transport was delayed “due to conflicting reports, especially with regard to what time the actual events took place.” The state also said it is “unable to make a determination” whether he was assaulted.
Although the report doesn’t find fault with the conduct of emergency responders, The Standard-Times reports that New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang has called for sensitivity training for emergency medical personnel.
He told The Standard-Times that the state didn’t request it and said the city is doing it voluntarily.
“I think it’s important. Mr Perry has brought to our attention that everyone is treated with courtesy and professionalism and receives the best medical care,” he said.
The mayor said the report goes a long way to closing the book on the Puzzles tragedy.
“Puzzles was a tragic, unnerving, sad incident in the city,” he said.
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