Coronavirus: Kentucky doctor accused of attacking teens, choking girl for not social distancing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky doctor has been arrested and charged with attacking a group of teenage girls for not practicing social distancing after video of the violent encounter went viral over the weekend.

Dr. John B. Rademaker, 57, of Prospect, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of first-degree strangulation and three counts of harassment, according to officials with the Louisville Metro Police Department. Authorities declined to offer further comment in a post on Facebook, but released a statement to local media outlets.

“Obviously, we do not advise individuals concerned about social distancing to take matters into their own hands and confront people about it, especially in any physical way,” a police spokesperson said in the statement, which was obtained by NBC News. “We ask people who are concerned about large gatherings to call 311 or 911 to report their concerns.”

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Online court records obtained by The Courier-Journal in Louisville show Rademaker, an anesthesiologist, was released later Thursday on a personal recognizance bond.

NBC News reported that the video first surfaced on Louisville’s Reddit page.

The footage, recorded by one of the girls, shows Rademaker and a woman with him confronting the group, who The Courier-Journal reported had congregated Friday evening at the amphitheater at Norton Commons, an upper-class neighborhood of Louisville. Witnesses told reporters that the couple said they were doctors.

The group, which the witnesses said consisted of nine teens, had violated city officials’ recommendations to stay home and avoid social gatherings.

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In the video, the woman with Rademaker has her own cellphone out and is recording. Officials have not released her name or charged her in the incident but social media sleuths claim the woman is Rademaker’s wife, a fellow anesthesiologist.

One of the girls can be heard at the start of the recording telling Rademaker that they are leaving.

“Please, let’s not cuss at each other,” the girl with the cellphone says. “No, I’m not calling you anything, sir, just don’t talk to us with ….”

The man in the video interrupts her, pointing to another of the teens.

“This (expletive) right here,” he says, walking toward the girl.

Watch the entire video below, courtesy of The Courier-Journal. Faces have been blurred and explicit language cut out.

Rademaker is seen pushing two of the girls as the woman accompanying him tussles with another girl who appeared to have been relaxing on the ground. The girl on the ground appears to be the only black teen in the crowd.

“Don’t touch me! Oh my God,” one of the other girls says in a startled voice as she is shoved.

“You do not touch me,” the second girl tells the man. “Do not touch me.”

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The man goes over to where a third girl is trying to pull the woman away from her friend lying on the ground. He shoves her away.

“Get away from her!” one of her friends shouts.

The man identified as Rademaker then kneels over the prone girl and wraps his hands around her neck.

All the girls begin screaming and pulling him off the girl on the ground.

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Witnesses told The Courier-Journal the man and woman left immediately after the attack. Paramedics called to the amphitheater checked the girl who was choked but her injuries did not require further treatment.

According to a police report obtained by WDRB in Louisville, the girl suffered a red mark on her neck from the alleged strangulation.

Rademaker has been placed on administrative leave over the incident, the Louisville newspaper reported. He works for Southern Indiana Anesthesia Consultants.

“Our well wishes extend to all parties involved and we will continue to monitor this situation as new information develops,” the company said in a statement released through Boxcar PR, The Courier-Journal said.

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Rademaker has also been placed on administrative leave at Baptist Health, which described the doctor as a contract worker at the hospital, according to WDRB.

According to Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure records, Rademaker’s license is active. He is a hospital-based anesthesiologist who graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1988.

He has a clean record with no board action, the website states.