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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shasta County: Cottonwood man accused of trying to kill ambulance crew

Calif. man charged with trying to kill EMS crew
Man was arrested after ramming his pickup into their ambulance outside of a hospital

REDDING, California — A Cottonwood man accused of trying to kill two paramedics and an emergency medical technician by ramming his pickup into their ambulance outside Mercy Medical Center on Saturday night expressed disappointment when told no one was killed.

"That's too bad," he said. "Next time I'll drive through the front doors."

That information is included in a Redding police report issued after the Tuesday arraignment of Joel Michael Haller, 26, in Shasta County Superior Court.

Haller, who pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, including three counts of attempted murder, remains in Shasta County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

According to the Redding police report, Haller smiled and "nodded his head up and down" when asked by a police officer if he would do it again whenhe got out of jail.

But he told a witness he would wear his seat belt the next time.

Haller, scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on Feb. 29, was arrested on Saturday after allegedly plowing his pickup into an occupied and parked ambulance outside the Redding hospital.

"It was totally intentional," Sgt. Mike Wood with the Redding Police Department has said. "There's no doubt this guy did this on purpose."

Ironically, police have said, Haller was treated by one of the three men he allegedly tried to harm in the crash.

According to the police report, Haller's father told police after the crash that his son, who went to the hospital to seek treatment for a headache, has a history of mental illness and has been violent in the past.

The elder Haller said his son recently served 30 days in Tehama County Jail and had assaulted a sheriff's deputy.

In his police report, officer Justin Duval said he spoke with the younger Haller in the hospital's emergency room after the crash and asked him whether he rammed the ambulance on purpose.

"That's obvious," the officer reported Haller as saying.

When Duval asked him whether he had seen the paramedics in the ambulance, "Haller looked at me and chuckled but failed to answer my question," the police report said.

The men in the ambulance were Gregg Franz Herrman, 26, an emergency medical technician from Redding; Drew Alan Barnett, a 29-yearold paramedic from Redding; and Ryan Michael Samualson, a 35-year-old paramedic from Fortuna. Herrman was treated for back pain, while Barnett and Samualson weren't injured, police have said.

In November Haller was arrested by Tehama County deputies on suspicion of battering a peace officer while deputies conducted a welfare check on him at his Cottonwood home, the Record Searchlight has reported.

At 7:49 p.m. on Nov. 3, two Tehama County deputies were checking on Haller's welfare when he threw a rock at them but missed, according to the Tehama County Sheriff's Department.

Haller also kicked shut a cruiser door as another deputy was trying to get out of the car, deputies have said. He faces three counts of attempted murder.

Source:  Record Searchlight - Link

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