Kentucky Doctor Strangled Teenage Girl for Not Following Coronavirus Social Distancing Measures, Police Say

A doctor in Kentucky was arrested after allegedly attempting to strangle a teenager for not following social distancing guidelines in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. John Rademaker, a 57-year-old anesthesiologist, was arrested in Louisville Tuesday for an incident that allegedly erupted into violence after Rademaker and his wife confronted a group of teen girls for failing to observe social distancing at a local amphitheater on Friday. He was charged with one count of strangulation in the first degree and three counts of harassment with physical contact.

"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," Louisville Metro Police Department officials said in a statement to WLKY. "We ask people who are concerned about large gatherings to call 311 or 911 to report their concerns."

Witnesses told local media that Rademaker and his wife had angrily confronted the group and began swearing at them over not following the guidelines before the physical altercation took place.

A video of the incident that was apparently taken by one of the teens quickly went viral and shows an older man getting on a young woman who was already on the ground and placing his arms around her neck.

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The arrest of a doctor for allegedly strangling a teen girl over ignoring social distancing guidelines is one of many recent violent incidents seemingly inspired by tensions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getty

In the video, a man can be seen standing near the group as one of the teens says, "We're leaving, please let's not cuss at each other." The man points his finger at one of the teens and says, "This asshole right here," before moving closer to the group.

Members of the group can be heard saying "don't touch," apparently in reference to something not visible on screen. The man then pushes one of the teens before moving on to the young woman on the ground, the only person of color seen in the video, diving on top of her and seemingly placing his hands around her neck as the rest of the group screams "get off of her."

Rademaker is set to be arraigned in court on May 8. An arrest warrant obtained by WDRB is said to reveal that the 18-year-old victim was treated by emergency medical services for a red mark on her neck.

A redacted incident report that Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Lamont Washington supplied to Newsweek says the victim suffered an "apparent minor injury" and adds that "without consent, suspect applied pressure to victims throat and impeded her breathing."

The doctor's employers, a local anesthesia specialty group, also said that the incident had resulted in Rademaker being placed on administrative leave.

"[We] have decided to place the physician that appeared in the video on administrative leave as of April 5th pending further investigation," the group said in a statement. "Our well wishes extend to all parties involved and we will continue to monitor this situation as new information develops."