Hospital patient arrested after assaulting nurses, staff members

Published: Sep. 3, 2015 at 3:21 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2015 at 5:42 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A hospital patient is behind bars after assaulting 14 nurses and staff members at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital Tuesday, police say.

Officers were called to the scene just before 5:30 p.m.

A report from Charleston Police says it started when a nurse told the suspect he would have to take medication before getting any food. It says he grew agitated and threw a cup of ice at the nurse, started yelling at her and threatening hospital staff. The nurse ran out of the hospital room and told others to run too.

"The offender started yelling and exited the room swinging at anyone close to him," the report states. When another nurse heard screaming and went to see what was going on, she saw the suspect running through the halls, hitting people and trying to get a keycard. She called 911 and hid her keycard in her pocket before he ran up to her and started to hit her with a closed fist. The report says he continued running down the hallway afterward.

One victim tried to run away from the offender, but was struck in the back of the head. The report says the offender then proceeded to grab a hole puncher and ran toward other staff members.

Another victim told officers that he saw the offender swinging restraints with metal hooks on them at other people. That victim tackled the suspect, and the suspect elbowed him.

The report says the suspect struck members of a security team with closed fists and his elbows when they tried to restrain them. One man was hit in the neck and shoulder while trying to restrain the suspect.

A victim says she saw the suspect break free from the security team and started walking around the hospital, started walking around and yelling "You think y'all can hold me down?"

It says the suspect also hit a female member of the security team before grabbing her hair and throwing her. He then ran off into the hallway.

Another victim says the the suspect was throwing objects in addition to hitting nurses. The suspect hit him and pushed him into a wall.

In another situation, the suspect hit a man that was protecting another nurse.

Three female hospital staff members were sent home by the hospital before officers were able to speak with them. The report says there may be pending charges against the suspect based on their injuries.

Andy Lyons, Director of Corporate Communications at Roper St. Francis, issued this statement about the incident:

 "When faced with a violent patient Tuesday night, our Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital team had two goals: 1. Protect our patients and one another and 2. Restrain the aggressive patient as quickly as possible.

Because of the heroic efforts of our staff, we were able to accomplish both. Our team followed our safety protocol, and no patient was injured. The teammates who were injured were treated and released that same night, and we are giving them the support they need to heal emotionally as well as physically.

"We have opened an internal investigation into what happened to see what, if anything, we can learn from this event to better respond in the future. The safety of our teammates and patients is of utmost importance."

The suspect was discharged from St. Francis Hospital and booked at the Al Cannon Detention center with several charges of Assault and Battery-third degree.

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