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Security guard assaulted over hospital mask policy

Chad Staelens
Chad Staelens(Wichita County Jail)
Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A man was arrested Monday for reportedly attacking a security guard after becoming upset over Kell West Hospital’s mask policy.

Officers responded to the scene around 11:45 a.m. in reference the assault.

Wichita Falls police said 37-year-old Chad Staelens became upset over the hospital’s mask policy and caused a disturbance. After being asked to leave several times, Staelens allegedly became physical with a security officer and hit him in the face and neck area.

The security guard tried to block the suspects hands and Staelens then reportedly bit him on the thumb to the bone.

Staelens was arrested and charged with assault on a public servant, which is a third degree felony. The security guard was treated on scene.

Jerry Myers, CEO of Kell West Hospital, said this isn’t the first time someone got upset about wearing a mask inside the hospital, but that the precaution is necessary.

“We don’t know if they’re coming in because they have COVID. We don’t know their symptoms until they arrive with a mask on and certainly if they’re going back to visit. You can’t go see patients if they’re on the floor and not have a mask on,” said Myers.

WFPD Sgt. Charlie Eipper said police officers haven’t had too many incidents involving mask policies.

“If they walk into an establishment that has that rule and get approached, typically they handle it themselves and they just leave,” said Eipper.

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