Doctor Arrested After Striking Unresponsive Patient With Her Own Hand: Police

A doctor in Florida has been arrested after he allegedly repeatedly struck a patient with their own hand, according to an affidavit.

Onyekachi Nwabuko, 44, was arrested on Wednesday after his colleagues at UF Health Leesburg Hospital described the alleged striking incident.

The victim, a hospital director, two registered nurses and an emergency room technician said in testimony seen by CBS affiliate WKMG that Nwabuko battered the patient on three different occasions.

According to the network, a staff member told police that a common practice to determine whether a patient is conscious or not is to drop their hand over their face.

The staff member said in the records seen by WKMG that if a patient is alert "they will either move or stop their hand to prevent it from striking their face."

But the staff member did not believe Nwabuko had been performing that practice and stated they could see the victim had tried to resist, despite the doctor having applied more pressure.

Leesburg police said Nwabuko had attempted to assess the victim for possible intubation when he first battered her face with her left hand, according to the network.

The victim's IV line then came out of her left arm, which led her to bleed on her chest and face. Nwabuko then asked a staff member to get a new face mask before he left.

In the documents, the victim told a nursing supervisor that she heard Nwabuko claim she had been faking her low alert level and went on to mock her.

The victim claimed she was unable to speak or physically resist the force that Nwabuko had used.

According to WKMG, the victim suffered significant injuries to her face, including swelling, redness and bruising to her left eye.

Nwabuko faces three counts of misdemeanor battery charges in relation to the alleged striking incident, WKMG reported.

A UF Health spokesperson told Newsweek: "At UF Health, we are committed to providing a safe, secure environment for our patients, their families and visitors while delivering quality medical care services.

"We are actively cooperating with law enforcement in this investigation, which involves an independent physician who is not employed by UF Health.

"Because of privacy laws and the nature of the allegation, we are unable to provide any more information at this time."

Newsweek has contacted the Leesburg Police Department for comment.

Misdemeanor battery in Florida is punishable with one year in jail or 12 months probation, as well as a $1,000 fine.

Last year, a Florida doctor was sentenced to more than five years in jail for participating in a fake clinical trial of an asthma drug for children. Dr. Yvelice Villaman-Bencosme was sent to prison for 63 months in March last year.

The disgraced doctor had previously pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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Stock image of a police officer and a police car. The police arrested Nwabuko over the striking incident. Getty Images

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