Doctor arrested for attacking teen girls, choking one, apparently for not social distancing

The suspect "without consent ... applied pressure to victim's throat and impeded her breathing," according to a police report.

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

A Kentucky doctor who violently attacked a group of teen girls, choking one of them, apparently for failing to practice social distancing, was arrested after a video of the incident went viral over the weekend.

The video, which was posted to Reddit and titled, "Man strangles teenage girl for failing to social distance," shows a man approach at least four girls who are on a picnic blanket. A woman near him appears to film on her phone as one of the girls tells them the group is leaving.

A still from video of the alleged altercation.via Twitter

It's unclear what happened before the video began, but one girl says to the man, who is staring them down, "Please, let’s not cuss at each other."

The man then calls one of the girls an "a--hole," before both he and the woman go after the group. The man shoves three girls before lunging at a fourth girl, appearing to pin her on the ground. The girls scream, and one pleads with the man to "seriously, get off of her!"

More than 3,000 people commented on the Reddit post, and a a tweet of the video from writer and activist Shaun King was retweeted more than 2,000 times.

The Louisville Metro Police Department on Tuesday, the day after King's tweet, identified the man as John Rademaker and said he had been arrested and charged with four counts, including first-degree strangulation and harassment with physical contact.

A police report said the incident happened Friday at Norton Commons, a residential community. A brief description of the encounter said Rademaker "without consent ... applied pressure to victim's throat and impeded her breathing." The victim is identified as an 18-year-old Hispanic woman.

"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," police department Special Advisor Jessie Halladay said in a statement shared with NBC News.

Dr. John Rademaker.Louisville Metropolitan Police Department

A statement from Baptist Health Louisville said Rademaker was a contract physician with the provider but "has been placed on administrative leave from his practice and is not providing services at a Baptist Health 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 statement said.

Rademaker was released from jail on his own recognizance on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson for the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections. He is due in court on May 8.

Calls to Rademaker's office went unanswered. Several home and cellphone numbers listed for him were disconnected.