Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department

Virginia Firefighter Acquitted of Assaulting Patient in Custody

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A Fairfax County firefighter-paramedic who’d been charged with assault for allegedly striking a patient has been found not guilty. 

Firefighter Andrew Cruikshank was taking a man who was in custody to a hospital for treatment Sept. 14. 

The man reportedly hit the firefighter. 

In police body camera video, the man is heard threatening to shoot the firefighter and then spit at him.

That’s when the firefighter struck the man in the face. 

Cruikshank was charged with misdemeanor assault. His defense attorney said Monday in court the firefighter testified his actions were done in self-defense and the judge acquitted him. 

The patient was not called to testify. 

Cruikshank has been on administrative leave, but his attorney said he hopes to return to his job with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

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