A doctor in Louisville, Kentucky was arrested earlier this month after shocking video footage allegedly showing him strangle a teen girl for failing to follow social distancing guidelines went viral.
The full video, which was originally posted to Reddit, shows Dr. John Rademaker and his wife, Dr. Mary Rademaker, approach at least four girls who are on a picnic blanket at Norton Commons, a residential community in Jefferson County.
According to NBC News, a police report said John Rademaker “without consent … applied pressure to victim’s throat and impeded her breathing.”
The victim is identified only as an 18-year-old Hispanic woman, although many social media posts claiming Rademaker’s attack to be racially motivated state that she is African American.
While there are not yet any official reports of the events that preceded the video, a now-deleted Reddit post from the young man who uploaded the video and claims to be shown confronting Rademaker in it offers the following explanation:
My friends and I were irresponsibly failing to social distance at Norton Commons Amphitheater. I understand that we are a part of the problem, but I think we in no way warranted what proceeded to happen.
A couple who was clearly intoxicated and angry approached us while cussing and borderline yelling. They were claiming to be physicians, which I don’t doubt, and were criticizing us for being out. The woman shoved her phone in one of the girls faces and she knocked it out of the woman’s hand in an attempt to get her away. That is the initial commotion in the back. The man then shoved/hit two girls out of the way and proceeded to choke the girl on the ground.
A shortened clip of the video, along with the explanation of its context, went viral on Twitter shortly thereafter.
Here's your "context" for those of you who want to figure out whether these kids deserved it or something. SPOILER: Drunk wealthy couple unleash pent up frustration on girls, especially the seated black girl. pic.twitter.com/9sH84TAf5b
— Louisville PTO (@LouisvillePTO) April 5, 2020
The Louisville Metro Police Department announced on Facebook the following Tuesday that Dr. Rademaker was arrested for “a total of four charges to include: Strangulation 1st degree and Harassment with physical contact.”
A spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections told NBC that Rademaker was released from jail on his own recognizance shortly after his arrest and that he is due in court on May 8.
“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,” police department Special Advisor Jessie Halladay said in a statement shared with NBC News.
NBC also reports that Baptist Health Louisville, where Rademaker was a contract physician, has placed him on administrative leave.
Unfortunately, incidents like this are cropping up across the nation as citizens react in panic and fear to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Back in March, a man angered over his neighbor’s social distancing practices rammed him with his Honda Odyssey minivan outside a Brooklyn synagogue, according to The New York Post.
“You’re killing everybody with this virus,” the suspect said, telling his 31-year-old victim that the congregation should not be meeting during the pandemic.
Later in March, Janie Marshall, an 86-year-old woman with dementia, died in a Brooklyn hospital after being hit and shoved onto the floor by a patient.
According to The New York Times, Marshall had become disoriented and began wandering the emergency room at Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center. When she started to lose her balance, she grabbed 32-year-old Cassandra Lundy’s IV pole to steady herself.
The Times reports that Lundy “had apparently become irate that Ms. Marshall had broken the six feet of personal space recommended to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, law enforcement officials said. Ms. Lundy shoved the older woman, knocking her to the floor. Ms. Marshall struck her head and died three hours later.
Lundy allegedly told a Health and Hospitals Corp. police officer that she did it because Marshall “didn’t stay more than 6 feet away.”
Folks, what’s left to save of our society if we will so readily attack eachother over social distancing? Isn’t the point to preserve life?
Lord, help us.
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