Courthouse News Service
Friday, August 27, 2010
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (CN) – A man who was hurt in a car crash but was misidentified as a cancer patient claims security guards at Prince George’s Hospital beat him up when he tried to leave the hospital to avoid chest surgery he didn’t need – “to have a potentially cancerous mass removed from his chest.” He adds that one guard repeatedly called him “bitch” as he roughed him up.
Joseph Wheeler says a June 23 car accident put him in the hospital, which is owned by Dimensions Health Corporation. When he woke up hungry on June 24 and asked a nurse for food, she told him he couldn’t eat because he was scheduled for surgery, Wheeler claims in Prince George’s County Court.
“At this point the two officers put on black padded gloves in front of Mr. Wheeler and defendant Scott started to hit his fist against his own hand and moved closer in proximity to Wheeler’s face. Defendant Scott appeared angry and agitated.”
Wheeler, “in fear for his safety,” tried to reason with the guards.
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“He told the officers that he had been in a serious car accident and suffered from multiple injuries to the torso and shoulders. Wheeler also told the officers that he was retired from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and that he knew that the security officers had no right or authority to detain him. Wheeler stated that he wanted to leave.”
At that point, Wheeler says, Scott grabbed him and shoved him “hard from behind into the adjacent wall and metal railing,” hurting his ribs.
The complaint continues: “Mr. Wheeler, in serious pain and feeling like he was going to black out, fell to floor. Defendant Scott stood over him and yelled, ‘Get off the floor bitch! This game is over!’
“Defendant Scott continued, ‘I don’t care who you think you are, this is my camp, you listen to what I got to say!’ The vocal officer then grabbed Mr. Wheeler and pulled him up off of the ground as Wheeler pleaded with the officer to stop hurting him.
“At this point the defendant Reese said to the vocal officer, ‘Man, ease up on him. He might really be hurt.’ Defendant Scott replied, ‘Hell no, he don’t come up in here and be telling us what the fuck to do!'”
As the two guards “escorted” him back to his room, “Scott accused Wheeler of attempting to push the second officer down a flight of stairs,” and “continued to shout expletives at Wheeler,” according to the complaint.
Wheeler says the men took him to the hospital security office, where an unidentified lieutenant questioned him.
This article was posted: Friday, August 27, 2010 at 2:50 am