St. Johnsbury resident has been convicted of assaulting a paramedic

A St. Johnsbury resident has been convicted of assaulting a paramedic in the back of an ambulance. Donald James Gallagher, 54, who told the court on Monday that he had changed his gender and changed his name to “Dawn” Gallagher, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of simple assault on a protected professional in exchange for a sentence of 0-3 months, all suspended except for three days on the work crew and $147 in court surcharges. Gallagher was in court for arraignment on the charge, but accepted the state’s initial offer. Vermont State Police say they were dispatched at 8:51 p.m. on March 14 to a reported assault in the back of an ambulance at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury. When troopers arrived they were told by CALEX paramedic, Kelly Mims, 43, that she, along with her crew, had picked-up Gallagher after he was found heavily intoxicated and passed out in a snowbank. “Mims advised that Gallagher began to struggle and fight while they were in the back of the ambulance,” wrote Tpr. Verdall Cole in his report. “Mims said that Gallagher then struck her on the left side of her head with a closed fist and yanked on her left shoulder as well, which caused her a lot of pain.” Police said Gallagher was highly intoxicated and unable to speak with troopers or answer any questions about the incident. Before accepting the state’s arraignment offer, Gallagher had been facing a possible sentence of up to two years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

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