BOSTON -- An off-duty emergency medical technician sprang into action and saved the life of a badly beaten man in Dorchester on Tuesday - risking his hide as he ran into busy traffic, authorities said.
Francis Abbatangelo, 33, of Boston EMS was driving home at 4:15 p.m. when he spotted a man in the middle of the intersection of Dudley and Magazine streets in Dorchester, blood pouring from his ear. "He was just out flat," Abbatangelo said. "There was blood by his head. I assumed he got hit by a car."
But the victim, a 39-year-old Dorchester man, had instead been viciously attacked by a group of young men and left for dead, according to Boston police. He was in critical condition after being transported to Boston Medical Center but is expected to survive.
Abbatangelo couldn't wake the victim but detected a pulse. Fearing a spinal injury, he didn't move the man.
"Normally I have my tools - that was the most unnerving thing," he said, adding that he was at the mercy of cars that were whizzing by.
Abbatangelo grabbed his radio and called in a pedestrian struck and shielded the man from oncoming traffic.
Police, meanwhile, swarmed the area and found witnesses who reported seeing four men tailing the victim, who appeared drunk, prior to the assault.
Cops arrested a 15-year-old male from Roxbury on assault charges, said Boston police spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll. The motive for the attack was unclear.
Abbatangelo, a former teacher's aide, became an EMT in 2007 after becoming inspired by the response of EMTs to a car accident that injured his father.
"EMSwas there for my family in a time of need," he said.