NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A violent early morning attack on employees in the elevator of a hospital parking garage has left staff at Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown shaken.
It was around 6:15 in the morning Wednesday, a terrifying way to start a shift for this nurse that doesn’t want to be identified.
“I was coming down the steps and there were Metro police officers there and a couple of other staff that I overheard say they had been hit in the face,” she explained.
Once to her unit, the nurse found out there were more victims, colleagues in the ER being treated after random attacks in the parking garage elevator.
“One was knocked out completely and the other one was hit in the mouth repeatedly and her teeth were knocked kind of loose,” the nurse said.
Metro police saying 67-year-old Larry Brown rode the elevator up and down, randomly assaulting at least five female employees of the hospital by striking them in the head or face with his fist. Police say Brown also punched a Saint Thomas Midtown security guard in the head before being taken into custody.
“After this I’m pretty terrified to walk out to my car,” the nurse said.
The nurse, who has worked for Saint Thomas for more than a decade, says there have been issues in the garage before, including a number of car break-ins.
“We’ve emailed security asking for more security presence out in the garage and the response we get back is that they are doing their best, because they have to survey the whole hospital and that they don’t have enough man power to have someone out there all the time or even at shift changes,” the nurse said.
It’s a response that’s left those that we refer to as heroes feeling insignificant.
“We make sure that our patients and visitors are a priority, but a lot of times the staff is kind of out on the back burner with our safety and with a lot of other things, so we don’t feel like we are a priority at all,” she said.
Officials with Ascension Saint Thomas released the following statement to News 2:
“We are saddened to confirm that several Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital Midtown associates were assaulted early this morning in a 20th Avenue parking garage elevator. Four of our associates were treated and released for their injuries. The suspect has been apprehended and is in police custody.
“The safety of our associates and patients is of the utmost importance to us. Increased security measures have been put in place. Additionally, MNPD will continue to provide an officer in our Emergency Department daily from 5 PM to 5 AM and our security surveillance in the parking garages will continue 24/7. We will also continue to make security available to escort our associates to and from their vehicles as we evaluate additional preventative measures to ensure safety.“