Police: Man taken into custody after assaulting staff at MercyOne

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 2:08 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - A man was taken into police custody Thursday morning after police say he assaulted medical staff at a Sioux City hospital.

The Sioux City Police Department says at about 9:41 a.m. officers were sent to MercyOne for a report of a suicidal man who was assaulting the staff. When officers arrived at the scene, they learned the man, identified as 44-year-old Alfred Gomez of Moville, Iowa, had taken out his IV and was attempting to assault the staff by stabbing them with the IV needle.

Police allege the man continued to escalate the situation by “breaking the IV stand in multiple pieces and tied them to his wrists to use as weapons.”

According to police, Gomez continued to be uncooperative with officers and began throwing objects at them. Police report they eventually used a “PepperBall system” to subdue Gomez. The system launches a food-based non-chemical agent that’s used to nonlethally subdue people.

After officers used the PepperBall system, Gomez surrendered and was taken into custody. Gomez reportedly sustained minor injuries during the incident and was treated by MercyOne staff.

Police say Gomez will be charged with multiple counts of assault including assault on a peace officer and criminal mischief.

In response to this incident, MercyOne sent the following statement:

For the safety of our patients and colleagues, officers with the Sioux City Police Department were called to MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center today to support our care team in de-escalating a patient.

They responded quickly and determined the use of pepper spray was needed to protect the patient, our colleagues and others in our care.

The situation has been resolved, and we are taking all precautions to ensure patients and colleagues who may have been exposed to the pepper spray have no lasting impacts, including relocating all patients on the impacted floor within the medical center.

We appreciate the ongoing support of the Sioux City Police Department in helping ensure the safety of our patients and colleagues. We remain committed to ensuring high-quality and safe care for all we serve.

Official statement from MercyOne.