Arlington paramedic accused of sexually harassing two teens during ambulance rides

Courtesy Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

A 33-year-old Arlington paramedic has been indicted on two charges of official oppression on accusations that he sexually harassed two teenagers being transported on mental health calls.

Aaron Tyler English had initially been accused in April 2017 of sexually harassing and touching the breast of a 17-year-old girl as she was being taken to a medical facility after a suicide attempt, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Arlington police had interviewed English, a paramedic with American Medical Response, but he denied any wrongdoing.

That police investigation was closed on April 11, 2017, after being referred to the city prosecutor’s office. English was never prosecuted, the affidavit states.

“The suspect was temporarily suspended from duty and later returned to work with AMR,” the affidavit states.

But the 2017 case was recently reopened after another teenager, a 17-year-old high school student, reported to Arlington police in December that an AMR employee, later identified as English, had made sexual advances toward her as well.

On Tuesday, English was indicted on official oppression charges in both cases. Official oppression is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

English is free on bond in both cases.

“This prosecution is a classic example of overreaching by law enforcement.,” said Christy Jack, English’s attorney. “At the end of the day, I think the media will be reporting a very different story.”

The 2018 case

The girl in the most recent case told investigators that she was 16 when she was transferred by ambulance to the Sundance Behavioral Health Center following a suicide attempt in January 2018.

She said the paramedic told her she could sit on a seat instead of the gurney and offered her use of his phone charger so she could use her phone.

“The suspect began asking her personal and sexual questions, including if she had a boyfriend and if her boyfriend was ‘good in bed,’ ” Detective N. Bishop wrote in the arrest warrant affidavit.

The girl told police that the paramedic also said he would visit her in Sundance and that the conversation made her uncomfortable.

The next month, the girl told police, she began getting text messages from the paramedic though she doesn’t remember ever giving him her number.

She said the paramedic, whom she knew by the first name of Aaron, asked if she remembered the ambulance ride and sent her two pictures of his face.

“The suspect asked several times if she would take photos of her breasts and send him the photos,” Bishop wrote about the text messages, which were turned over to police by the girl.

The paramedic also asked the girl if she had performed certain sexual acts and about her sexual history, the affidavit states.

The girl had turned 17 by the time the paramedic sent the sexually explicit and implicit messages to her, indicating he wanted to engage in sexual contact with her, Bishop wrote.

The paramedic appeared to know the girl’s age when sending the messages, according to the affidavit, based on comments he wrote, including “you do know I’m older than you, right?” and “your mom can’t just kick you out bc [sic] you are not even an adult.”

Bishop was able to identify English as the suspect after conducting an Arlington police records search and discovering the same cell phone number had been used by the paramedic as a witness in a DWI arrest report.

Body camera footage from that DWI arrest showed English in his paramedic uniform giving an officer his name and cell phone number.

A Texas driver’s license photo of English “depicts the same person as in the video and the photos sent to the victim,” the affidavit states.

During the investigation, Bishop learned that English had also been a suspect in a similar report made in 2017.

Arlington police arrested English on Dec. 20 on a warrant charging him with official oppression related to the 2018 case. In an interview with Bishop, English admitted the text messages he exchanged with the girl were inappropriate but denied any inappropriate conduct in the 2017 case, the affidavit states.

The 2017 case

Bishop interviewed the alleged 2017 victim last month, who recalled how English convinced her to be taken by ambulance instead of by police officers, the affidavit states.

She told the detective that English was overly friendly and touched her more than normal medical practice.

“The suspect asked for her phone number, social media information, and suggested they should hang out together,” Bishop wrote in the affidavit.

The girl said English then asked about her boyfriend and their relationship before moving a stethoscope around her chest both over and under her clothing.

“The suspect told Victim B she had ‘big boobs’ and asked to see them,” the affidavit states. “The suspect touched her breast with skin-to-skin contact and pinched her nipple.”

The girl told Bishop she was uncomfortable with the paramedic’s actions and told an officer what had happened when she arrived at John Peter Smith Hospital.

In January, English was arrested again after Bishop obtained a second official oppression warrant in the 2017 case.

AMR, known locally as Arlington EMS, is the exclusive ambulance service provider for the city of Arlington.

Mark Kessler, AMR regional director, said Wednesday that, “Aaron is no longer with us.” Kessler said he could not comment on whether English was fired or resigned, only that English’s departure happened this month.

Kessler said he also could not comment on English’s previous suspension.

Anyone who may have been contacted inappropriately by English is asked to call Arlington police Detective N. Bishop at 817-795-9992, extension 137.

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For 23 years, Deanna Boyd has covered crime for the Star-Telegram. She digs deep into the stories behind the tragedies and hosts Out of the Cold, a podcast about unsolved murders in North Texas. She is a University of Texas at Austin graduate and has won several journalism awards through the years.