Reporters Raise Questions About Firefighter Accused of Assaulting Patient

A Washington state firefighter/EMT is facing assault charges stemming from an incident in April 2017 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup. Sean Clayton is charged with a single misdemeanor count of assault in the fourth degree. Clayton is with Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.

According to KIRO7 news, Clayton responded to the hospital where the victim, Jodi Rudolph, was taken by her father. Rudolph, who admitted she had been drinking and took some pills, was seated in her father’s car when Clayton reportedly grabbed her hair, assaulted her, and kicked the car. The incident was caught on video and reported anonymously to the state health department.

Clayton was disciplined in May, 2018. However, KIRO7’s investigators are raising troubling questions about how past complaints involving Clayton have been handled, allowing him to remain on the job.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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