Firefighters suspended for punching patient

The video is hard to forget, Glendale Firefighters punching a patient who they thought was being combative.

After an investigation, it was determined the firefighters used excessive force.

The family of the victim was outraged and called for the firefighters involved to be fired. Now the punishment for the firefighters was released.

It's not an eye for an eye, in this case.

The patient ended up with a black eye after the slugfest; the firefighters ended up getting suspended for a total of three days.

Despite the fact that an administrative investigation found the firefighters did use excessive force, the Fire Chief says they did not deserve to lose their jobs.

The profanity-laced tirade was caught on camera, the firefighters admitted to punching the patient 5-6 times each while he was down on the gurney.

Now, they have served their punishments for their actions.

Captain Sean Alford, a 17-year veteran of the department was suspended without pay for two days. Firefighter Danny Padilla, a ten-year veteran was suspended without pay for one day.

The patient 30-year-old James Murillo ended up with a black eye.

"He has bruises everywhere; he had bruises on his head, ears, nose, eyes, everywhere. I can never believe the fire department done something like that," said Raul Murillo.

Murillo's family has questioned whether firefighters should even keep their jobs after the incident. Chief Mark Burdick said the firefighters simply reacted to the violence towards them.

"This individual agreed, got on the gurney, on the way out he hit his dad. The captain said don't do that, or we'll have to restrain you, the patient reached out and struck our Captain, that's what caught them off guard," said Chief Mark Burdick.

Burdick said the firefighters were not trained to deal with violent patients, and since Murillo took the first swing, the firefighters used force to defense themselves. The administrative investigation said they used excessive force and could have lost their jobs for violating the city and departmental codes.

Now some question whether a few days suspension is a harsh enough punishment.

"I feel the punishment does fit the crime, if I had a history of firefighters that had a problem of being aggressive, all those factors I may have made a different decision, but these are good employees, they provide excellent service," he said. 

Since the incident, the Fire Chief says every Glendale firefighter will go through training with the police department. They will be trained in defensive tactics and how to create defensive space, so they have the tools to deal with violent patients.
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