SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (TCD) -- Two EMS workers have been arrested after a 35-year-old man suffering from withdrawal hallucinations died in their ambulance in December.
Fifty-year-old Peter Cadigan and 44-year-old Peggy Finley are each charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Earl Moore Jr.
According to Springfield Police, on Dec. 18 at 2:02 a.m., Moore called 911 to report there were several people inside his home with firearms. Officers arrived at the scene and spoke with another person in the residence who said the caller was "suffering from hallucinations due to alcohol withdrawal."
Police located Moore in a back bedroom and "quickly realized that the patient was in need of medical assistance."
Paramedics arrived at 2:18 a.m., and Finley reportedly told Moore to walk to the ambulance. Body cam footage, however, reportedly shows Moore "was not able to walk and the medical personnel were not offering any assistance."
Springfield Police officers reportedly took turns helping Moore through the house and onto a stretcher that was outside. Moore was placed and secured in a prone position on the stretcher, meaning he was face-down.
According to the statement, police learned Moore died after arriving at the hospital.
The State Journal-Register reports Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon determined Moore died from “compressional and positional asphyxia due to prone face-down restraint on a paramedic transportation cot/stretcher by tightened straps across the back.”
Sangamon County State Attorney Dan Wright spoke at a press conference Tuesday, Jan. 10, and alleged Cadigan and Finley knew their actions "would create a substantial probability of great bodily harm or death."
The NAACP Springfield branch president and Illinois state director Teresa Haley reportedly said at the press conference the paramedics treated Moore "rougher because he was Black."
She said, "It was hostile to see the video and how they treated him."
Haley also commended the Springfield Police officers at the scene and said they "did an awesome job" by saving Moore’s life "as long as they could."
She said, "Without the body cams, we wouldn’t have this information, so we are grateful they responded the way they did. The officers did what they were supposed to do."
Body cam footage released by Sangamon County shows officers arriving at the house to help Moore, their struggles to get him to walk to the door and onto the stretcher, and Finley telling him to "get up there," referring to the stretcher.
According to the State Journal-Register, Springfield Police Chief Ken Scarlette said Finley did not give Moore the "care and compassion and respect he deserved."
Scarlette wrote in the department’s statement, "The Springfield Police Officers who responded to this incident recognized the patient’s need and requested medical assistance for the patient. When those personnel acted indifferently to the patient’s condition, the officers took steps to assist the patient, to get him the care he needed, even waiting on scene to ensure the medical personnel loaded the patient into the ambulance."
Scarlette noted the officers "are not trained nor equipped to provide the necessary medical treatment or to transport patients in this type of situation" and handed over care to the medics at the scene.
Cadigan and Finley are both being held on $1 million bond.