Hospital patient dies after being handcuffed

Published 10:02 am Monday, November 3, 2014

MAPLEWOOD — A Twin Cities-area hospital patient who allegedly attacked nurses has died after police handcuffed him.

The 68-year-old man assaulted four nurses with a metal pole at 2 a.m. Sunday at St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, Police Chief Paul Schnell said. One nurse suffered a collapsed lung, and the three others’ injuries ranged from a fractured wrist to cuts and bruises.

Police found the man three blocks away, holding the bar. Ramsey County deputies directed the man to drop it, but he refused. Deputies used a Taser device to stop the man, but that did not work. Then, two Ramsey County sheriff deputies and a Maplewood police officer took him to the ground and handcuffed him.

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Moments later, the suspect was unresponsive. Deputies and police paramedics on the scene attempted to revive him, and he was transported back to St. John’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal of Apprehension is investigating. The deputies and officer were put on standard leave in accordance with policy.

The man was in the hospital for medical reasons and was not a psychiatric patient, the chief added.

“He had some signs of confusion,” Schnell said.