Hoodrat Heroes

Worcester Man Runs Up $2.7 Million Ambulance, ER Bill By Getting Drunk All Day Every Day

A legendary Worcester drunkard has run up an annual bill of close to $3 million in ambulance rides and ER trips!!!

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Have you ever ridden in an ambulance? It’s pretty expensive – $1,500 a ride!! But that’s what health insurance is for. You pay into it because $1,500 is an insane amount of money for a three mile ride to a hospital. Well there’s one guy in Worcester who apparently rides the ambulance on a daily basis for fun. His name is Derek Thomas, and you may recognize him as one of the sign guys on Park Ave and Main Street:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 12.57.39 PM

Apparently this guy just gets drunk all day, passes out, and gets a free ride with fire and ambulance. We’ve got inside information that last week he rode the ambulance FIVE TIMES in one day. These pictures were provided to us by a neighborhood resident who apparently has run afoul of this guy:

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From what we’ve been told, this guy gets taken for a ride to the ER about 2-3 times a day on average. The average ER visit costs roughly $1,500. So we’re talking $3,000 per trip. Multiply that by 2.5 trips and you get $7,500. And he doesn’t take holidays off either, so when you multiply $7,500 times 365 days this is what you get:


LOL. $2.73 million a year for one guy. Believe it or not this upstanding gentleman doesn’t have health insurance, so guess who’s paying for this? You got it – IT’S YOU!!! That joke is always on YOU in Massachusetts. Haven’t you figured that out yet?

The best part is that Massachusetts law dictates that the patient can determine which hospital they go to. And Derek Thomas found out that UMass will section 35 him (send him to 28 days of court ordered rehab), but St. Vincent’s does not. So even in his drunkest stupor, he still has the wherewithal to demand to be taken to St. V’s.

Look, I don’t know what the solution is here. I guess one thing that could be done is forcing St. V’s to mandate court ordered rehab. But the bottom line is there will always be guys like this out there. The only thing we can do is make it harder for them to affect the quality of life of everyone else. For instance, no more panhandling. Oh wait, we had one of those ordinances but then Tracy Novick sued the city and won in federal court.

Here’s my solution – tell him to sleep it off. Because at the end of the day he’s an adult making adult decisions. If he wants to get drunk all day and lie in a pile of his own piss then I say let him. Why are we wasting money on a guy whose only goal for the day is to take a taxpayer funded ride to the hospital?

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75 Comment(s)
  • Kevin
    October 5, 2016 at 10:44 am

    To the EMT posting above you both deserve to be fired, you 100percent violated HIPPA and I hope his family sues you both and UMass will in fact terminate you!!

  • Unknown
    December 4, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I went to high school with this “guy”. Honestly, he deserves to rot on the streets. I’m absolutely pissed he’s getting rides to hospitals. He’s always been a horrible person and it’s about time he faces the consequences.

  • WTF
    October 4, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    A few weeks back you did an article on these pan handlers..The one that like to sit in and destroy the large plant at Park Ave and Mill St passed out and rolled out of the plant and into the street twice this week…Got the free ambu ride and full fire department arrival both times that I witnessed… I am sure the dope known as Spurts and others like him thinks the fire department rolling out every time one of these drunks passes out does not cost the tax payers of the city any money and is just free!!

  • Steven Stover
    October 2, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I have never seen the guy but if I do I am going to buy him a 30 pack and give him my old pup tent. I already put it in the trunk. And I am going to drop him off after telling him he can its okay stay in my back yard. I will drop him off at Carlo Baldino’s house of in Sutton.

  • Curmudgeon
    October 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Hey, Frank Lee. Where do you think the money in the insurance pool comes from??

  • Pam Williams
    October 2, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Well I was just standing outside beacon pharmacy on main Street and sure enough the cop’s pulled up to the Chinese restaurant next to Main South Liquors. And there was this guy you are talking about Derek layed out on the ground and then the Ambulance came and took him away again just as I was telling my friends about this Article about this man omg this man is aa sad case.

  • Priscilla
    October 2, 2015 at 10:41 am

    The solution is not to deny anybody medical care, but to provide it more *efficiently* by targeting the social determinants of health. We cannot expect to discharge somebody from a hospital and then return them to a context which perpetuates their disease. Rates of readmission are bound to be high with that approach.

    • StupidIsAsStupidDoes
      October 2, 2015 at 11:31 am

      The point is…it’s a hospital…not an on-demand detox center or a place to sleep off the 80 beers you drank the night before. The system is broken and isn’t helped by people that have unrealistic ideals. Do you have any brilliant ideas as to what to do with this man when he’s discharged? He is an adult and free to make his own decisions, whether good or bad. What comes with the freedom to make your own decisions is that you have to live with the consequences of those actions. Should we have to pay for those consequences though? I think not!

      • Priscilla
        October 2, 2015 at 12:01 pm

        That’s what I’m saying. What we’re doing now is inefficient and expensive. It’s on us as citizens to advocate for public policy change and vote on new bills that can more efficiently address issues like these. And it’s on politicians and public health officials to actually listen. We need to be reaching out to Gov. Baker and telling him we care about how our money is spent. There are lots of people out there doing good work in public health but it takes time and effort to have those policies/programs recognized by politicians and voted on by citizens. The point is, the social determinants of health matter; prevention matters; treatment matters. Letting someone sober up in a hospital and then turning them loose on the streets- BACK to the conditions which perpetuate their disease- is seriously the best we’ve got?!? We can do better.

  • strata
    October 2, 2015 at 7:47 am

    “idiots all of you”, your are a moron ……… these costs get passed to us thru higher insurance premiums working class folks are saddled with, The taxpayers pay for the Police & emergency services that have to show up, the taxpayers pay for the “public assistance” that is used for booze that he flows thru his body and causes this endless cycle, the taxpayers are hit Obamacare subsidies.

    Private owned hospital …… LOL yeah, and the costs just magically disappear and don’t hit the rest of us. Call people sheep, but your the one embarrassing yourself with your post.

  • strata
    October 2, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Just another burden for the contributing members of society …….. but I’m sure its somehow our fault

  • Idiots... All of you
    October 2, 2015 at 6:58 am

    You are all idiots (well, most of you)…

    The EMT did violate HIPAA, he/she is not allowed to talk about anything to do with a patient as long as the identity of the patient can be determined. Give the context, you know exactly who he/she is talking about and therefore is a violation. Doesn’t matter if the article brought the facts to the table, the EMT still can’t confirm or deny anything to do with it.

    Taxpayers do not cover the cost, especially if the guy is going to St V’s (a PRIVATELY OWNED hospital). Both St. V’s and UMass (and any other hospital) has insurances in place to cover these costs. And before you try to say that UMass is a public/government owned so your taxes pay for them, they don’t. UMass is self sustaining and covers it’s own expenses in these situations.

    But, I guess if TB says it’s true, it must be. Baaaaaaaaaa! Go Turtleboy, champion of the sheep! Baaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    • TFB
      October 2, 2015 at 7:39 am

      this fucking loser is the reason the rest of us pay out of our ass for insurance coverage. arguing otherwise is laughable

    • Kevins 9 Iron
      Frank Lee
      October 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

      “Taxpayers do not cover the cost, especially if the guy is going to St V’s (a PRIVATELY OWNED hospital). Both St. V’s and UMass (and any other hospital) has insurances in place to cover these costs. ”

      Hilarious that we’re all idiots yet you posted the above. If you have private insurance you pay. I’ll post it again dipwad:

      The ambulance is compensated through the uninsured pool fund which is paid into by insurance companies. So if you are paying for your insurance YOU pay.

      That’s lets you ObamaScare gimme dat people off the hook so relax.

    • Sweet Justice
      October 3, 2015 at 8:13 am

      If they have insurance companies to bear the cost of these free rides then that cost is ultimately trickled down in the form of rising insurance costs for people who actually pay insurance. Your premiums pick up the slack.

    • L
      October 5, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Thank you

  • Publius
    October 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    HIPPA not an issue here. Someday he will get squished by a truck or the cold weather, end of story.

    • mack4966
      October 1, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Anyway we can speed that up a little? signed…an anxious taxpayer.

  • Non Sequitor
    October 1, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    First of all Spurts, you’re a fucking imbecile if you think the EMT violated HIPPAA by anything that was said.

    More importantly, the EMT, while being harassed, still does her job which is something that drunken piece of shit doesn’t have.

    Between drunken bums (yes BUMS), our poor deprived “psychiatric emergencies” (boo-hooooo, my Mommy didn’t love me, take me to the hospital so I can “talk to somebody”) and assholes who call an emergency ambulance for sprained ankles, this is the core of the problem with the health care system meltdown.

    Hospitals are chock filled with bums who are using your dime (x 1,000,000,000,000) to defraud the system and get a free ride because do-gooders in society can’t bear to see a drunk in the street because somehow it must be their own fault the bum is there. When some other do-gooder with a cell phone passes by in their Lexus and calls 911, the ambulances and the hospitals HAVE to take them. There is no choice.

    So spare me the fucking violins and HIPPAA references and the “we have to do something” mentality.

    Remember that drunk when your elderly mother needs a trip to the ER for chest pains, you take her because she doesn’t want to ‘bother’ the ambulance and then she gets triaged because she doesn’t think the pain is “too bad” yet and all the beds are taken by drunks, psych ward rejects, and some skate park dropout who’s there because he thought the handcuffs were too tight when he got popped for selling pills in a school zone.

    • Wtf...
      October 2, 2015 at 8:13 am

      I agree, you are all idiots. You’re all trying to sound so smart and make yourselves feel important by contributing to a debate on whatever this has turned into from the beginning. Hou think you’re contributing and setting people straight when in reality you have no idea what you’re talking about and neither did whoever wrote the article. You all need to get your facts straight. And by the way it is HIPAA, it stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. So to all of you dumbasses who wrote HIPPA, even after being corrected, look it up before mentioning it again.

  • tb
    October 1, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I think this is guy is turtleboy

  • D D
    October 1, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I’ve been at St. V’s also with this guy. He pissed all over the wall. The Dr was so mad they tried to walk him out but he couldn’t stand at all. So they left him there. The Dr told the staff if anyone gave him ANYTHING they would lose their job and he would be sure of it. The guy was pitching a fit for a blanket. He had the nerve to pull out a bottle and drink it. The Dr grab it and threw it on the floor . It was not a great time to be there. He needs to be section and not let out.

  • fordsnharleys
    October 1, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Just leave the cell door open so he can lock himself up until morning.

  • PRM
    October 1, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    I wish I saw some constructive comments here. There has to be some way to deal with this problem. I would be happy to write to anyone and/or support anyone who knows how this can be stopped. Please…. someone….any constructive comments.

    • zubo
      October 1, 2015 at 9:43 pm

      There are a dozen of his ilk in Boston. I’ve been taking them to the hospitals there for years. There is only one real effective answer. Court ordered Institutionalization. But that will never happen for a whole boatload of reasons of our own creation.

    • L
      October 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Derek has had multiple life threatening head injuries with cognitive and memory issues. He also needs assistance to walk. The family and courts have had him sectioned and have tried to gain guardianship over him. But the doctors always deem him compotain. Even after the consulors and director on the state hospitals wrote letters stating that he was not competin and need to be placed in a home. The very same doctors that work at CHL on chandler st. Which he is not. And he does have insurance. And it makes me wonder if the EMT worker that made the post is the same EMT worker that beat Derek to the point of death that has caused the irreversible medical issue that Derek now has.

  • Zack
    October 1, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    You can’t just say “sleep it off” and walk away because if he is drunk then he is altered and you can’t leave anyone that has altered mental status even if they are an adult. It’s a running problem everywhere and the only solution is rehab or PD taking them to jail for public I toxication but then that would be their problem. There’s no easy solution at all.

    October 1, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I am have worked for 40 years in the city of Worcester, single parent and have NEVER had a handout.
    I’m still paying $35/month for an ambulance ride 3 miles from UMASS in 2012.
    It’s nice they offer payment plans for people that pay health insurance but these incidents are just wrong. Dry out and get a job!
    Thanks Obama Care NOT

    • L
      October 5, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Obama was not even president when Mass health was created. So thank Republican Governor Mic Romney it was his plan.

      • Sara
        October 7, 2015 at 4:19 am

        Bunch of ignorant motherfuckers on here.

  • Youknowwho
    October 1, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    This guys was also recently in the news paper because the prostitution ring he was in got busted!

    • Sara
      October 2, 2015 at 3:59 am

      You have no idea What the F… Your talking about.Also u should ashamed of yourselfs.This man is am alcoholic Also he ia mentally lil.And ia victim of street violence.This nan also faught for our country at one time.And the one who is an emt whatever happened to cofidentiality????????

      • Ridiculous
        October 2, 2015 at 7:26 am

        What? Fought for our country??? You are soooooo full of shit! I personally have known this asshole for 30 years and he has NEVER fought for our country!!! He is a drunk & a drug addict plain and simple! He is definitely mentally ill but that is from his own doing. Get your facts straight instead of trying to make this piece of shit look like a poor defenseless man! He is no fucking hero. Never was and never will be!!!

      • mack4966
        October 2, 2015 at 9:11 am

        Sara…Good for you! Standing up for what’s right. I know that you will be going down to see this man in whatver hole he is living in, to bring him to your home for rehab. We need more people like you. A few weeks of your chicken soup and tender care will do wonders. Thanks for being a good citizen. You bring new meaning to the words “Bleeding Heart”>

      • Sweet Justice
        October 3, 2015 at 8:04 am

        How many thumbs are you typing with?

  • RSoxguy
    October 1, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    Somebody needs to take this drunk for a ride to NYC and leave him there

  • Lauren
    October 1, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    The comments on this are even better than the article. He’s def got sunshine on a cloudy day!

  • WTF... Worcester
    October 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Insurance does not cover Ambulance visits because that is an option. You have to pay out of pocket for an ambulance or helicopter ride. Since he has no insurance it does not matter and the bill will just wrack up. Also, that is a UMASS ambulance, and they don’t always transport to St. Vincent’s. St. Vincent’s gets a lot of weirdos since it’s right next to downtown.

    • Some random guy
      October 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      U mass provides service to the city, and per MGL mass doh regulation and Medicare law, patient is allowed to choose destination as long as appropriate, and doest delay patient care by more than 15 minutes from closest appropriate facility

    • PRM
      October 1, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      So….. who gets the bill?

      • C
        October 1, 2015 at 11:10 pm

        Umass eats that cost. No insurance to bill it to apparently. Umass provides the city ambulance services, unlike Boston where the city provides the ambulances, not the hospitals.

      • Kevins 9 Iron
        Frank Lee
        October 2, 2015 at 9:17 am

        The ambulance is compensated through the uninsured pool fund which is paid into by insurance companies. So if you are paying for your insurance YOU pay.

    • Another EMT
      October 1, 2015 at 9:38 pm

      @WTF Worcester:

      What shitty poor-person insurance do you have that doesn’t cover ambulance transport? Every insurance does. Copays may vary but they all cover it. (The ambulance service never get as much as they bill for, btw. But the patient only pays their copay.)

      And for all you HIPPA idiots…. It’s HIPAA.

  • EMT of Worcester
    October 1, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I am an EMT in Worcester and cannot tell you how many times I’ve taking this guy. The homeless facilities that he sits in front of call the cops on him because he is too drunk to be admitted and can’t sit on the sidewalk drunk. So we pick him up. He gets his check everyday from the facility and goes to the liquor store. If you are a female EMT like myself, he will sing My Girl by The Temptations to you. Every one calls him D-Train. He calls himself the “mother fucking king of rock and roll”

    • mack4966
      October 1, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      More like the”mother fucking king of taxpayer fraud..” Why do you think he lives in Massachusetts?

    • TurtleBoySpurts
      October 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Hope we don’t figure out who you are because your post is a complete violation of HIPAA regulations and you WILL lose your job. Your duty as an EMT is to care for people, without judgment. POS

      • mack4966
        October 1, 2015 at 2:23 pm

        Hey…leave the guy alone. He tells the truth and you want to crucify him? We need more people like him to tell the often screwed taxpayers of Massachusetts what the hell is going on. Do you really think closing your eyes to truth helps anyone???

      • Pablo Escobar
        October 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm

        You obviously know absolutely nothing about HIPPA. The article already mentioned his name and that he gets rides because he is drunk. Nowhere did the EMT above say anything about DOB, Medical issues beyond what the article already stated, meds, address, etc. Hope back in your cruiser HIPPA police and go back to the academy

        • Carlo's Daddy
          October 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

          I was going to say the exact same thing…..well said!!

          ‘Spurts’ is a fantastic example of the ‘Collaborative’, ‘Mosaic’ & that bullshit run by my son and his asshole wife.

      • rv3
        October 1, 2015 at 2:37 pm

        Fuck yourself you little bitch. You still come here? This is what you want from liberalism? A scumbag taking EMT taxis everyday? I live next to the liquor street on main st and deal with fucks like this everyday, I’m white so every fuck thinks I’m loaded so whenever I’m walking to my minimum wage job they feel the need to ask m for a dollar. The same group of 15 or so. They always have a new story and amnesia because they don’t remember they asked me he day before with a different story. Main Street and south main is full of junkies roaming and this is Pettys Worcester. No one wants to work or use your yuppie services and you stil defend their actions? Wake the fuck up from your utopian dream, the best part is none of you cucs live here by think you know how it is because “academia” fuck off

        • TurtleBoySpurts
          October 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

          So you’re only worth minimum wage? You should have paid more attention in school, son. How about taking a little personal responsibility for your sorry situation? If your life sucks it sure isn’t because of this guy, numb nuts.

          • Hippa my ass
            October 1, 2015 at 8:33 pm

            Hippa really I had a cyst burst and spent 2 hours listening to every persons medical history being discussed with patients and the PA that was treating them, including hep a, b, c aids and hiv

          • Kyle
            October 1, 2015 at 10:55 pm

            Actually I’m a college grad who can’t find work in my field because this city lacks industry and job growth. Glad to see you make generalizations and insult my socio-economic status , the same thing you hacks supposedly fight to stop. You’re all frauds

          • mack4966
            October 2, 2015 at 6:43 pm

            Spurts…you have already been figured out. Don’t waste your time apologizing or trying to act intelligent.. Too late.

        • Sara
          October 7, 2015 at 4:10 am

          Learn how to spell before you post something trying to sound important.Just because your white “they” think I got money. …Get off your high horse you fucking loser. Your living in a drug program next to Kirsch liquor with 2 weeks clean from smoking crack.I know who u are . So if u post anything else you fucking punk I’ll tell everyone what St near the Library that you work nights for minimum wage letting old white men suck u off for crack money you fucking pig.

      • John Ramey
        October 1, 2015 at 2:43 pm

        Hey Spurts: you forgot to tell the EMT to work a second job or extra shifts so he/she can pay more taxes for dicks like you and D Train. Get out of your Section 8, put down the EBT cards, and get a fucking job so that you can afford to be so self righteous. Classic Masshole.

      • Chris Seith
        October 1, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        Puck you

        • TurtleBoySpurts
          October 1, 2015 at 8:32 pm

          Haha… Fuck you!

          • Chris Seith
            October 1, 2015 at 9:31 pm

            No thanks but if I see you in the woods man. I’m gonna shove my ice cats inaugural season puck up your ass. Sideways “faggott.” Southpark

      • Worcester Resident
        October 1, 2015 at 8:46 pm

        Sounds like she cries for him every time which makes you the judgemental one. Jesus love you, have a blessed day.

      • N
        October 1, 2015 at 8:53 pm

        Stating that he sings to you and what he calls himself his not a violation of hippa regulations

      • zubo
        October 1, 2015 at 9:35 pm

        What private info was divulged?

      • Finally
        October 2, 2015 at 9:21 am


      October 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      Give him that medicine to vomit his alcohol right there on the street.

    • Kevins 9 Iron
      Frank Lee
      October 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Just curious, why don’t the cops take him to the drunk tank?

  • just so u know
    October 1, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    just so ya know… st v does sec 35 him also…just sayin.

  • wesawbearsonce
    October 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Why don’t they tow him away? According to the first picture, he is in a Tow Zone. That would be cheaper and once he has been dragged across our fine roads he may be less likely to ask for help? Just a thought

    • Judyb
      October 1, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Did you notice which tow company’s sign he is in front of? There is another a joke there somewhere…

  • annoyed
    October 1, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I was at saint v’s on Saturday due to extreme pain caused by a stomach ulcer. He was actually right behind me and constantly yelling and complaining. A doctor was trying to get me an iv and I have bad veins so it sadly took several doctors and attempts but he was in fact right behind me yelling for a sandwich for 15 minutes and then for milk after they refused to give him a sandwich. I almost yelled shut the fuck up but I have more class than that. About 45 minutes later he was still hollering for other bullshit and I almost got up and punched him in the face, but then luckily I got transferred into a room away from him while he was in the hallway. Mind you I had a friend drive me and not take an ambulance… I feel like if you are this big of a loser, I would let you die on the sidewalk instead of continuously waste massive amounts of money on your own stupidity.

    • mack4966
      October 1, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      annoyed….this is Massachusetts….that poor man deserves everything the taxpayers of Massachusetts can give him. That is what we are all about in Mass. Welfare fraud and political indictments.

    • IHateYou
      October 1, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      You weren’t about to punch him in the face, because you are a pussy…”I almost yelled shut…”.. but you didn’t, pussy.

    • Sara
      October 7, 2015 at 3:49 am

      Your a fucking coward, real tough cookie.” I almost punched him” why can’t they find your veins….???? Years of shooting heroin so let’s keep it real…

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