EMT Injured While Breaking Up Fight at Occupy Wall Street [Update]

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Last night at Zuccotti Park, an EMT broke his leg responding to a fight and had to be taken away to in an ambulance. This was one of four fights that required security's attention at the park between 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. The offender in the fight that injured the EMT was also taken away in an ambulance.

When the Voice arrived on the scene around 10:30 we were greeted with a commotion on the eastern end of the park near the red structure. A man with facial tattoos and a dog had grabbed an American flag and was trying to burn it.

A crowd developed as an older man took back the flag, clutching it, and yelling "You will not burn the American flag!"

The face-tatted man, who seemed intoxicated, screamed back: "Yes we will! It's our right!"

"Because you committed rape on indigenous peoples, your flag needs to be burned," he yelled, while other people tried to calm the situation.

"Symbolism aside, starting a fire jeopardizes this movement," another man chimed in.

A security team member moved through the crowd waving the same kind of little flashlight that bouncers use, telling people to de-escalate. Eventually they dispersed, as a line of cops looked on.

But over the course of the next two hours, three more fights broke out in the western end of the park. The fight that injured the EMT and sent the offender to the hospital as well went down a little before midnight. The boy in question, whose name is Josh and who a security team member described as a "constant problem," had punched a girl in the face and was being restrained when EMTs were sent in to get him; one EMT apparently tripped, falling on his leg. Animal NY confirmed with a police officer that his leg was broken.

According to people in the park, the last few nights have been particularly fraught with fighting and disturbances; three nights ago, a couple on drugs who were physically fighting had to be removed, and a long-term troublemaker was made to leave two nights ago, we're told. Last night, most people blamed the full moon.

A FDNY rep confirmed that an EMT had been taken to Bellevue from Zuccotti last night around midnight, but couldn't give us more details.

Update 3:41 p.m.: City Room reports that the protester, 20-year-old Joshua Ehrenberg, has been charged with assault.

[rgray@villagevoice.com] [@_rosiegray]

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