Cooley Dickinson nurse arrested on charges of assaulting alleged trespasser
NORTHAMPTON — A nurse at Cooley Dickinson Hospital was arrested Thursday evening in connection with an alleged assault on a male patient who was reportedly trespassing at the hospital.
Northampton police say they charged the nurse, Steven Joseph Coughlin, 28, of Stilson Avenue, Florence, with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after they said witnesses observed Coughlin knocking a male patient’s head against a sink in the hospital emergency room.
Coughlin pleaded not guilty to the charge in Northampton District Court Friday and was released on his own recognizance.
Police were called to the hospital around 8:20 p.m. to assist with a male who was reportedly trespassing and uncooperative.
When they arrived, officers said they found an Easthampton man yelling and bleeding around his eye. His name and age were not available Friday.
Police said the man told them he had been injured by hospital staff and a witness reported having seen Coughlin push the man into a chair and hold his head down, causing the injury.
Hospital spokeswoman Christina Trinchero confirmed that an incident had occurred in the emergency room Thurdsay but declined to give details due to patient privacy concerns.
“We have reached out to the patient and continue to be available to ensure any ongoing care needs are met,” she said in an email statement Wednesday. “We are actively investigating this incident and will provide more information as we learn more about what occurred.”
Trinchero said the hospital employee involved in Thurday’s incident, “is not currently providing patient care at our hospital.”
When asked whether the employee had been suspended or fired, she said that will depend on the results of the investigation now under way.
“We are cooperating with the police and providing information about this incident to all appropriate agencies,” Trinchero said.
Coughlin is due back in court on Sept. 11 for a pre-trial hearing.