Police say doctor stabbed several times in the face by a patient: ‘These things happen all of the time’

PHILADELPHIA, PA – According to Philadelphia Police, a yet-to-be-identified suspect was arrested for allegedly stabbing a doctor several times in the head and face while the suspect was being treated at the hospital. 

While the victim is said to be in stable condition, officials have yet to offer any details on what may have motivated the attack. 

The incident reportedly occurred at a Pennsylvania Hospital on Spruce Street during the afternoon of February 23rd.

While shared details on the incident are scant, reportedly a patient was being treated by a female doctor and suddenly began stabbing the doctor with an unspecified weapon/instrument. 

Dr. Theodore Christopher, chairman of the Department of Emergency Management at Jefferson, and past president of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, noted that hospital staff being assaulted by patients is more common than one might think.

He said: 

“I would venture to say 80% or most of us have either been assaulted or been the victim of some sort of violence by a patient.”

Police haven’t yet shared the names of either the suspect arrested or the victim; nor have there been any reports from officials on what led to the patient seeking treatment at the hospital initially. 

Dr. Christopher also explained that while assaults are rather common on hospital staff, many incidents simply go unreported despite efforts to promote otherwise, saying: 

“I think more recently there has been a call to report these things and these items, but I would say less than a third of doctors and nurses probably report these incidents.”

In a recent statement released by Penn Medicine, they noted that they’re working alongside law enforcement officials and that the doctor who was attacked.

The statement said the doctor:

“received immediate care, and they are in stable condition. There was no danger at any time to other patients or staff in the hospital.”

This is an ongoing investigation. 

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further insight into the case as it develops. 

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Earlier in February, we at Law Enforcement Today brought a report of another attack that reportedly occurred at a hospital – this attack was in Louisiana. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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SHREVEPORT, LA – A 27-year-old man was arrested following an incident that transpired at a hospital in Shreveport on the afternoon of February 1st.

According to authorities, the suspect had allegedly stabbed his mother in the head with a machete, while also allegedly stabbing another hospital employee.

Furthermore, police suspect that this individual may be responsible for a murder that transpired in New Orleans one day prior to the hospital attack.

Zaokoye Chatman was arrested and booked by the Shreveport Police Department at approximately 1:21 a.m. on February 2nd, following the attack that occurred at the Ochsner hospital allegedly committed by the suspect during the afternoon of February 1st.

Chatman was said to have stabbed his mother in the head with a machete and also stabbed another hospital employee. According to Corporal Glenn Heckard, while the injuries sustained by the victims were serious – none of them were life threatening.

Following the incident at the hospital, the facility was reportedly locked down for a few hours after the attack as police believed at the time that the suspect may have still been on the premises as they were working the scene.

A statement regarding the “code silver”, which is a procedure related to denying entry and exit from the hospital, was released by Ochsner LSU Health following the incident:

“The safety of our team, patients and community is our greatest priority. An incident occurred at our Kings Highway Campus at approximately 2:30 p.m. today. Local law enforcement was immediately dispatched and hospital security initiated a Code Silver for the safety of our patients, visitors, staff and providers.”

“An All Clear was issued at 4:00 p.m. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and will be sharing additional updates as available.”

Surveillance footage obtained by police confirmed that the suspect had fled the hospital following the attack in a green Saturn Vue.

At some point thereafter, authorities located and took Chatman into custody.

What’s all the more interesting in this case is that police suspect that Chatman may have been the individual responsible for a murder that transpired one day earlier in New Orleans.

Said murder occurred on the afternoon of January 31st, when 59-year-old victim Donald Cargo was at an LA Xpress gas station within the 5100 block of St. Claude Avenue.

A witness to the murder, who is reportedly a store employee at the gas station, alleged to have seen the victim attacked by another man using what appeared to be a large knife that could have been a machete.

The suspect in that case allegedly pulled up behind Cargo, got out of his core, and slit the victims throat with a large knife.

Outside of the alleged weapon used in both crimes bearing strong similarities, the suspect description from the gas station murder as well as the vehicle utilized matches that of Chatman’s appearance and current vehicle.

The brother of the victim from the gas station slaying described his brother’s murder as being “cold” and rhetorically asked how someone could do such a thing:

“It’s cold you know… How could somebody do something like that? My brother, if you come at him, he’s going to talk. He’s not going to fight. He’s not going to try and harm you or hurt you or nothing, you know.”

Specific charges awaiting the suspect aren’t clear as of this time.

This is currently a developing investigation.

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further details on this case.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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