On Friday, a group of young girls was hanging out together on a picnic blanket near Louisville’s Norton Commons residential area.
In cellphone video captured of the incident, a man, later identified as Dr. John Rademaker, apparently approached the girls and began berating them for not practicing social distancing. While another woman, apparently the man’s accomplice, filmed the encounter, one of the girls told the two that they’re leaving. The man seemed to be “staring down” the girls, as NBC News describes it, and appeared to call one of the teens an “a**hole” while one pleaded for calm.
“Please, let’s not cuss at each other,” she can be heard saying.
The man and woman allegedly then begin assaulting the group, with the man reportedly shoving three of the girls before lunging at a fourth one and pinning her to the ground while the teens screamed.
Video of the incident can be seen below, but be warned: it contains profanity, as well as content that may be disturbing to some viewers.
???????????? What’s this man’s name?
I need it.
This happened this weekend in Louisville.
He assaulted this young Black girl.
But local news outlets won’t say his name. The police arrested him for strangulation, but even they won’t say his name or release the mugshot. pic.twitter.com/4uT8YGCddr
— Shaun King (@shaunking) April 6, 2020
According to a police report, the suspect “without consent… applied pressure to victim’s throat and impeded her breathing.” At least one victim was described as an 18-year-old Hispanic female.
On Tuesday, Louisville police confirmed that they had arrested Rademaker and charged him with four counts, including first-degree strangulation and harassment with physical contact. Later Tuesday, he was released from jail on his own recognizance, according to the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. He is due in court on May 8.
It remains unclear, as of this writing, if the alleged female accomplice faces any criminal charges.
In a statement, police department special advisor Jessie Halladay said that it’s not up to regular citizens to enforce social distancing, particularly not with violence.
“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,” she said.
Baptist Health Louisville said in its own statement that Rademaker had been a contract physician with the hospital, but that he’s been placed on administrative leave and is not currently practicing within the facility.
“This type of action does not reflect our values as an institution or healthcare provider, and our thoughts are with the young women who were impacted,” the hospital’s statement read.