Cops: Greensburg caregiver accused of assaulting patient in emergency room
A Greensburg caregiver for a 62-year-old man with multiple disabilities is accused by police of assaulting him as he was treated in a hospital emergency room.
City police charged Margaret J. O’Neill, 47, with neglect of a care dependent person, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and disorderly conduct after the 2:11 a.m. Sept 12 incident at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital.
Patrolman William Newmyer said hospital security asked police for assistance shortly after after O’Neill’s patient arrived by ambulance after complaining of “not feeling well.”
“Hospital staff observed O’Neill hitting (the patient) multiple times,” Newmyer reported reported in court documents, adding that staff also said O’Neill refused multiple requests that she leave.
O’Neill told Newmyer that she had to wait to be relieved by another co-worker at Community Options, , the officer reported. The national, non-profit agency provides services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Messages left at the agency’s Greensburg seeking comment about O’Neill’s employment status were not returned.
Newmyer said O’Neill became belligerent when he informed her that the man was in the care of qualified professionals at the hospital and she had to leave.
“O’Neill became angry and threw her purse and belongings toward officers,” Newmyer reported.
Newmyer said the caregiver told police, “I’m not leaving.”
When police attempted to arrest her and place her in handcuffs, Newmyer alleges O’Neill kicked officers and “continually screamed and yelled ” while being escorted to a police car parked outside.
Newmyer also said O’Neill yelled profanities at her patient as she left “that caused alarm to other patients in the area.”
Newmyer said the man told police after she left that she “had treated him poorly all day.” Police reported the man is partially paralyzed and unable to walk.
O’Neill could not be reached for comment. An attorney was not listed in court documents.
The complaint was sent by mail.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .