Patient says nurse assault charges are unfounded
by Rachael Griffin
rgriffin@annistonstar.com
Apr 10, 2013 | 12837 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ronetta Armbrester says she was wrongly charged with assaulting a nurse at Regional Medical Center Tuesday. (Photo by Trent Penny / The Anniston Star)
Ronetta Armbrester says she was wrongly charged with assaulting a nurse at Regional Medical Center Tuesday. (Photo by Trent Penny / The Anniston Star)
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An Anniston woman Wednesday said she was wrongly charged with assaulting a nurse Tuesday while seeking treatment for her own assault injuries.

Ronetta Lashay Armbrester, 20, of Anniston, said she drifted in and out of consciousness early Tuesday morning in a hospital bed at Regional Medical Center. Armbrester was in the emergency room, where she received treatment for broken facial bones and a concussion after she was assaulted with an aluminum baseball bat outside a Barber Terrace apartment on South Allen Avenue.

Amy Armbrester, Ronetta’s mother, said when her daughter gained consciousness she immediately tried to pull an IV out of her arm. When the nurse tried to stop Ronetta, she quickly jerked her arm away and the IV came out, Amy said. The mother said she was present throughout Ronetta’s hospital visit.

“The doctor told her if you keep resisting and you mess around and you hit one of my nurses, we’re going to have to press charges,” Amy said.

Neither woman knew the names of the doctor and nurse who provided treatment.

Shortly after, Ronetta was handcuffed, charged with second-degree assault and taken to the Anniston City Jail.

The nurse told police she was hit in the face and sustained bruises around her left eye, Anniston police Sgt. Chris Sparks said Tuesday.

“I remember I didn’t hit her at all,” Ronetta said. “I was just holding the side of my bed.”

Ronetta said she hasn’t spoken to anyone at RMC since she was charged. Ronetta said she was told by police that the assault was caught on video by hospital surveillance.

Sparks said Wednesday he did not know anything about video from the hospital.

David McCormack, RMC CEO, said Wednesday he heard about a patient “slapping one of the staff in the emergency room.”

Hospital security determines if police assistance is needed with a difficult patient, McCormack said, and whether charges are filed.

“I know my staff. They take a lot of abuse from patients,” McCormack said. “It got to the point where they had to get the police involved, it had to be a serious issue.”

Staff Writer Rachael Griffin: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RGriffin_Star.

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