A Kentucky physician has been arrested and charged after strangling and injuring a black teenage girl for not observing social distancing during an altercation on Friday. The video of the incident, which shows the doctor and another white woman getting physical with a group of teenagers, was shared on Reddit.
According to WLKY, the incident occurred at around the Norton Commons Amphitheater. In the video, the physician, John Rademaker, can be seen exchanging words with the girls. He then goes ahead to shove them while making his way to confront the black teen who’s lying on the ground. The girl, who appears to be exchanging words with the white woman, is seen being strangled by Rademaker as her friends scream and beg him to get off her.
A witness told the news platform Rademaker and his counterpart confronted the teenagers for not being indoors and observing social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19 as advised. The witness also alleged the two were hostile towards the teenagers and cursed at them to get their points across.
Rademaker was arrested on Tuesday and charged with strangulation and three counts of harassment with physical contact, WLKY further reports. The victim also sustained minor injuries.
In the aftermath of the incident, the Louisville Metro Police Department released a statement calling on citizens not to take the law into their own hands during this quarantine period.
“Obviously, we do not advise individuals concerned about social distancing to take matters into their own hands and confront people about it, especially in any physical way.”
Rademaker’s employers, Baptist Health, also released a statement announcing he has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation.
“SIAC, a division of One Anesthesia PLLC is aware of the incident that occurred in Norton Commons with one of its physicians, who was not on official call or due to report to the hospital in any official capacity. With that said, the partners of SIAC, a division of One Anesthesia PLLC have decided to place the physician that appeared in the video on administrative leave as of April 5th pending further investigation. Our well wishes extend to all parties involved and we will continue to monitor this situation as new information develops.”
Speaking to WAVE 3, LMPD spokeswoman, Jessie Halladay, also reiterated concerned citizens should handle incidents of such nature in a non-violent and unhostile manner.
“We know people are out there saying, ‘Hey guys, you should probably social distance,’” Halladay said. “That’s one thing, if you’re being polite and it’s your neighbors, we don’t want you to take it into your own hands, and you certainly should never get physical.”
A resident, who also saw the video, called out Rademaker for his handling of the situation and expressed his satisfaction with the police investigating the incident.
“For someone to lay their hands on a child, I don’t care who you are or what they did,” the resident said. “We don’t need this here and it’s ridiculous.”