Man charged after LHSC employee attacked by suspects with knife and hammer: Police – London

Man charged after LHSC employee attacked by suspects with knife and hammer: Police – London

A 35-year-old man from London, Ontario faces charges including aggravated assault after police allege a worker at the London Health Sciences Center was seriously injured by a man armed with a knife and hammer.

The incident happened just before 2pm on Thursday at Victoria Hospital in the south of the city, police said.

A man was seen by a witness entering the hospital, going through the checkpoint at the reception desk and approaching an unidentified male employee, police said.

Hospital security was notified, and it is alleged the suspect hit the staff member with a hammer and then attacked him with a knife.

The victim, who sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, escaped the man, who was arrested by hospital security and later turned over to city police.

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Matthew James Brooks, 35, faces charges of aggravated assault and two counts of breach of a commitment. Brooks is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.

Court filings show two other active files in London Courthouse for Brooks, including one in mid-February on a false telephone fire alarm charge and one in late February on charges of burglary and burglary and theft relating to a house in Waverly Place.

Brooks is due to reappear in court on May 9 on all three counts.

No further information was released.

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In a statement, LHSC said hospital security was responding to a Code White incident at Victoria Hospital, relating to the emergency response procedures for a violent individual.

“Security has responded quickly to ensure that no one within LHSC continues to be threatened,” the statement said. The hospital said no patients were harmed.

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“Everyone deserves to feel safe coming to work and LHSC takes this situation very seriously. At this time, we are focused on the wellbeing of our staff and physicians and aware of the impact this incident may have on them.”

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Global News reached out to several unions representing LHSC workers on Friday for comment.

The head of the local union, which represents some 3,400 registered nurses at LHSC, said that while Thursday’s incident did not affect a member of them, it comes at a time when he says workplace violence, where members involving the public is becoming increasingly difficult.

“At (Ontario Nurses Association) we have sounded the alarm and little to nothing is being done about it,” said James Gibbons, President of ONA Local 100.

Gibbons said the union had campaigned for better training for members and stricter care schedules for those who frequented LHSC’s facilities, and that nurses were being attacked on a daily basis with little to no impact.

“There are hardly any charges even when we call (London Police) and that’s a problem,” he said.

“We’ve been through the Department of Labor… But orders aren’t written that often, charges are never made. And we just keep going. This is something I have never seen as a problem as big as it is now in my 24-year nursing career.”

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The cure, he says, is often to simply escort the party off the property.

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“[We]also deal with a lot of these patients that come into our emergency rooms. (London Police) is overworked and they basically drop you off at your doorstep. And when those patients are discharged, we can’t get them out of our emergency rooms.”

Gibbons said a particular concern is the increasing severity of reported incidents, including more “weapons of opportunity” or improvised weapons being used against members.

For his part, he says LHSC is committed to providing better training and education for its members and has sought to increase security coverage within the organization. However, he says that weapons of opportunity continue to be a challenge.

“We can look at things like metal detectors in our emergency rooms. That was suggested. But that doesn’t stop all casual weapons from coming in,” he said.

– with files by Sawyer Bogdan

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.