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Officials: Patient Assaults Nurses, Dies After Being Arrested

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials in Maplewood say a 68-year-old hospital patient died after officers arrested him early Sunday morning following a report that he assaulted several nurses.

Police were called to St. John's Hospital at around 2 a.m. on a report that four nurses had been assaulted by a patient, who was wielding a large metal bar and had been hospitalized for confusion.

The patient fled the hospital, and a Maplewood police officer as well as two Ramsey County deputies found him three blocks north of the hospital, still holding the metal bar. When the man refused to drop it, deputies used a stungun to shock him.

When that proved ineffective, authorities took the man to the ground and handcuffed him, officials say.

"Immediately after that, he went limp. Officers turned him over and they realized he stopped breathing. They checked for pulse, he did not have one," Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said.

Officers and police paramedics gave him CPR, and an emergency crew brought him back to St. John's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after.

The man's name is being withheld, pending the notification of his family. His body was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

According to police, the patient's family described his demeanor as gentle.

Hospital staff told police that there was nothing to indicate he would become violent since he was admitted on Oct. 29. According to police, hospital staff also said the man showed confusion about his stay at the hospital.

"This was totally outside of character, so something occurred and we don't know what that was," Schnell said.

Two deputies and the police officer have been placed on paid administrative leave, as is standard procedure.

In a statement, St. John's Hospital said staff are still treating two of the nurses and an internal investigation is underway.

The Minneapolis Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has been called to investigate the incident, officials say.

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