Jason Crigger, an EMT and ambulance driver for the Kentucky-based Arrow-Med Ambulance alleges in a lawsuit that he was "verbally harass[ed]" by Breathitt County special deputy Darrell "Steve" McIntosh, who Crigger says "activated his emergency lights and siren" and detained him for several minutes while a patient returning from a dialysis treatment lay in the back of the ambulance. A fellow Arrow-Med employee recorded the traffic stop and gave the footage to WYMT-TV.
Crigger told WYMT that McIntosh "Never gave me a reason that he pulled me over," adding that during the five minutes he was detained, McIntosh "never accused me of any traffic violations or anything of the sort. It appeared to me he just pulled me over to try to threaten and intimidate us."
McIntosh, who is also a Jackson (Ky.) city councilman, owns a rival ambulance company and is currently engaged in a lawsuit he filed against Arrow-Med alleging fraud and overbilling. Crigger's lawyer, Ned Pillersdorf characterized the traffic stop to U.S. News and World Report as a "pretty flagrant civil rights violation," adding "You're not allowed to use your official position to detain people and argue with them about a civil suit, which is what happened."
In an interview with U.S News, Crigger says that he makes $9.50 an hour, but that the lawsuit isn't about the money, it's to hold McIntosh accountable for "following us around for months in his little police car":
"He's a bully and I hate bullies," Crigger says. "I've been poor all my life, and I'll probably be poor for the foreseeable future. I just want him to leave me and my guys alone and let us work. We don't do this for the money, we do this to help people and now we have to worry about rogue deputy sheriffs pulling us over and harassing us."
David Drake, the patient in the back of the ambulance who was spent and stressed from four hours of dialysis treatment, told U.S. News that McIntosh "intimidated me too in the process, whether he meant to or not." Drake added, "He really dumped some anxiety on me. I was strapped down in the back. I can't run, I can just pray to God he won't go psycho."
Breathitt County's Sheriff Department consists of the sheriff and one paid deputy, plus four unpaid volunteer deputies, a group which includes McIntosh.
Sheriff Ray Clemons told U.S. News that he asked McIntosh about the incident and he claims "they made some kind of allegations at him or something or other, stuck their fingers up at him or something, that's pretty much what he said."