Nurse bitten, punched by patient - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Nurse bitten, punched by patient

Justin Hughes Merritt (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office) Justin Hughes Merritt (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

A Jonesboro man was arrested after police say he bit and punched a nurse.

The incident happened at St. Bernards Behavioral Health, 2712 Johnson Ave. Tuesday.

Officer Tyler Wilson was dispatched to the facility just before 8 p.m. for a combative patient.

A nurse told the officer Justin Hughes Merritt, 33, of Jonesboro was "violent and started throwing tables and chairs."

The nurse heard the noise and forced Merritt onto a couch to try to restrain him.

While doing so, Merritt reportedly bit the nurse in the left arm and "punched him a few times in the head."

Several other staff members arrived and were able to control Merritt.

He was placed in a quiet room as police were called.

Wilson spoke with Merritt who said he did bite and punch the St. Bernards employee because "he did not want to be at that facility," according to the incident report.

He also told the officer "he could not stand being in there" and things were only going to get worse if he stayed there.

The officer reviewed video footage of the incident which showed Merritt and the victim getting into a scuffle.

Merritt was arrested and taken the Craighead County Detention Center where he was cited for second-degree assault.

He is awaiting a probable cause hearing set for Wednesday.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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