Mom with baby punched at Nanaimo hospital maternity ward
Aug 08 2012
A Nanaimo mother was punched in the head — allegedly by her drunken ex-boyfriend — while holding the couple’s two-day-old baby in the maternity ward of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital, Nanaimo RCMP say.
The baby, born Aug. 2, was uninjured, said Const. Gary O’Brien. The 27-year-old mother was not seriously harmed.
The woman’s estranged boyfriend, a 30-year-old man from Tofino, was arrested for assault and breach of probation. He was remanded into custody until Aug. 7.
A Feb. 9 court order prohibited the man from having consumed alcohol while in the presence of the victim.
Police believe alcohol was a factor in the incident.
The altercation happened at 6:14 a.m. on Saturday at the hospital. The woman told police that when her former boyfriend entered her hospital room, she pulled the bedside “call bell” cord for help from a nurse, but no one came.
“She frantically pulled on the cord so hard it broke or didn’t work — she thinks it malfunctioned,” O’Brien said.
The man then punched the woman in the head while she was holding her infant, police said.
“Fearing for the safety of her daughter, she placed [her] in a nearby bassinet, then managed to push the accused out of the room,” O’Brien said.
A nurse called 911.
The man ran from the hospital, O’Brien said, but officers located him just before 1 p.m. on Nicol Street. He was taken into custody without incident.
“We’ve had dust-ups in the hospital for various things, but I’ve never been called to the maternity ward in recent memory,” O’Brien said.
The Vancouver Island Health Authority is looking into whether the call bell in the hospital malfunctioned, was pulled so hard it broke, or simply wasn’t answered.
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