LUBBOCK, Texas– One man was arrested Tuesday after a police report said he punched an Intensive Care Unit charge nurse for Covenant Medical Center.
At approximately 6:00 p.m., an officer responded to reports of the incident involving a patient who attempted to check himself out of the ICU. That patient was later identified as Jimmy Dale Backus, according to the Lubbock Police Department.
According to another charge nurse, Backus was admitted into the hospital three or four days before the incident, the report said.
Multiple medical staff members, including the victim, told Backus it was not a good idea to be released from the ICU since he was supposed to stay an extra day, the report said.
When Backus attempted to stand up, he lost his balance. That is when a charge nurse attempted to help Backus so he would not fall or injure himself.
Then, Backus started punching the charge nurse approximately five to seven times, police said. Furthermore, he continued acting erratic and vulgar with all involved medical professionals, the report said.
Police observed multiple bruises starting to develop on the victim’s stomach, as well as scratch marks on the inside of his arm.
Backus was arrested and booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center for assault on an Emergency Medical Services personnel provider, according to jail records.
It was not immediately clear what caused Backus to assault the charge nurse. When EverythingLubbock.com reached out to the police, a spokesperson said they could not comment further on the incident because medical information is not releasable due to state law.
Covenant offered the following statement:
Covenant Medical Center leadership is aware of the incident that occurred yesterday. While patient safety is our top priority, it is just as important to us that our caregivers are also safe and comfortable in the place where they dedicate their lives to taking care of others.
We are proud of the way our caregivers handled themselves and the situation and are happy to report that none of our caregivers were seriously injured in the altercation.
We are thankful for the support we received from our on-site security team as well as the Lubbock Police Department. We appreciate partnerships we have with our local law enforcement agencies and the sacrifices they too make to keep us safe.
Unfortunately, these incidents, while not common, do occur and therefore we are continually looking at our safety policies and procedures to make sure caregivers are never put in harm’s way. It is our mission to care for community, but we will not do so at the expense of our caregiver’s safety.