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Man gets probation for assault on EMT

LISBON — The man who jumped from a moving ambulance after assaulting the EMT assisting him, pleaded guilty to the assault charge in Common Pleas Court last week.

William Swagger, 25, Park Avenue, Columbiana, requested immediate sentencing. He was given 165 days in jail, but credited with time served. Additionally, he was placed on three years community control, which is to include up to six months at the Eastern Ohio Correctional Center.

Judge Scott Washam asked Swagger if he was certain could handle being released and stay away from drugs until a bed became available for him at the EOCC. Washam noted too many times people are released after getting clean and spending time in the jail, then overdose within a short period of time.

Swagger said he has a proper foundation set up, a sister in Bessemer, Pa., who will be willing to help him and a mother here locally in Ohio.

Additionally, Washam told Swagger instead of apologizing to the court for his actions, it would be better if he wrote a letter of apology to the EMT he assaulted, which he should give to his probation officer to forward to the person.

Swagger had been in the county jail prior to the ambulance. There he reportedly faked a seizure, a day before he flipped himself over a second floor railing about eight feet onto the cement floor in his cell block. Due to the injuries he sustained, he had been placed in an ambulance to be transported to a hospital, but assaulted the EMT in the ambulance then jumped out when the vehicle slowed to make the turn onto the northbound ramp for state Route 11 outside of Lisbon.

He had technically been released on bond from the Columbiana County jail, but was to be taken into custody by Struthers police after he was treated at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Mahoning County. Swagger never got there. Instead he was arrested in New Castle, Pa. the next day.

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