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Surgeon Arrested In Operating Room

A neurosurgeon was wrestled to the floor by sheriff's deputies outside the operating room after he threw a fit because he had to wait for instruments to be sterilized, authorities say.

Dr. Federico Castro-Moure, 45, was arrested Monday at Highland Hospital and will be charged with interfering with deputies, said sheriff's Capt. William Eskridge.

Castro-Moure, the hospital's chief of neurosurgery since 2002, allegedly became belligerent when nurses told him that instruments brought in from another medical facility had to be sterilized.

Eskridge said the deputies believed Castro-Moure was drunk, and two nurses told investigators they had smelled alcohol on the doctor's breath.

Castro-Moure took two breath tests. Neither showed him to be intoxicated, but he had not blown into the device long enough for a proper reading, Eskridge said.

During the dispute, the doctor insisted that a man who broke his ankles and fractured his spine in a two-story fall needed immediate attention and urged staffers to skip the two-hour sterilization process, the sheriff's department said.

Two other surgeons, however, had determined earlier that the injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.

It took three deputies to subdue the doctor.

"He was aggressive. He was angry, agitated, yelling and out of control. That's when the deputies had to take him down," Eskridge said.

Castro-Moure was jailed and released several hours later on $4,000 bail. The doctor was placed on leave while the hospital investigates.

A woman who answered the phone at Castro-Moure's home Thursday said he had no comment.
By Jordan Robertson