BAYBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – A Pamlico Rescue paramedic is being investigated after being charged with Driving While Impaired early July 5th.
The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office reported that at approximately 1:00 a.m. Sunday July 5th the Sheriff’s Office, South East Pamlico Fire Department and Pamlico Rescue responded to an intoxicated person in the water that was having difficulty swimming.
The Sheriff’s Office said deputies and rescue personnel removed the person from the water and checked to make sure the victim did not need further medical attention. During that time, 37 year-old Eric Kindle, an off-duty paramedic with Pamlico Rescue, moved an ambulance from one side of the building to the other.
While moving the ambulance, a vehicle parked in the parking lot was struck by the ambulance. When law enforcement arrived at the area of the collision, it was determined that Kindle was driving under the influence of alcohol.
Law Enforcement contacted the North Carolina Highway Patrol for further investigation. As a result, Kindle was charged with Driving While Impaired.
Highway Patrol told WNCT that Kindle blew a .11 on the scene. The legal limit in North Carolina is .08. However, despite that, Kindle was never booked in the county jail.
Friends of Kindle said this is very out of character for him.
“I’m just honestly very, very surprised that this has happened and very sad and concerned for our community,” said Irma Bond-Maxbauer, who has known the Kindle family for about 10 years.
She said Kindle is very active in the community, and owns a local coffee and ice cream shop called The Bean. She said he is always the first responder on the scene making sure everyone is okay.
Tim Buck, Pamlico County Manager, said the county is doing their own internal investigation into the situation.
“We are investigating it internally and we’ll take any actions we feel like we need to,” Buck said.
WNCT made several attempts to reach Kindle at his home and at The Bean. Pamlico County EMS Director Chris Murray said he won’t make a comment until the investigation is complete. No word yet on Kindle’s status with Pamlico Rescue.