The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a former Okaloosa County EMS paramedic and issued active warrants for another in connection with an investigation that revealed they used their cell phones to take selfies and videos with patients inside ambulances for their own amusement as part of a “selfie war” competition.
Many patients were intubated, sedated, or otherwise unconscious at the time.
24-year old Kayla Renee Dubois of Navarre is charged with two counts of interception and disclosure of oral communications, a third degree felony. (Florida Statute 934.03 (1)(a). Dubois was arrested Thursday morning in Santa Rosa County.
Active warrants have been issued for 33-year old Christopher Wimmer of Crestview on seven counts of the same charge, along with a misdemeanor battery charge. The battery charge involves Wimmer holding open the eyelid of a sedated patient for a selfie. Investigators say he also posed with an elderly woman with her breast exposed.
A total of 41 patients were initially identified. Two are since deceased and three appear consensual. Of the remaining 36 patients, 19 are female and 17 are male. They range in age from 24 to 86. Five are homeless.
Some of the data was shared by phone with other EMS and non-EMS personnel, however the investigator says overall a very small number of EMS personnel were sent the images and videos by the defendants.
The OCSO investigation was launched on May 13th after Okaloosa County Public Safety officials learned of the allegations from three other EMS employees a week earlier, began an immediate internal investigation, and then requested a criminal investigation. It revealed the defendants exchanged texts challenging each other to produce more selfies and to “step up” their game.
Dubois, who was terminated from her position at EMS May 20th, was arrested this morning in Navarre.
The OCSO is actively seeking Wimmer, who resigned his position at EMS on May 20th.