Police use stun gun on nurse in Tennessee ER Thursday night
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC) - A nurse employed by Erlanger Hospital faces several charges after Chattanooga police officers used a stun gun device on him Thursday night, after police say he refused to leave the emergency room.
Police are charging 42-year-old Roger W. Davis with two counts of assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Viewers who were in the E.R. captured the incident on their smartphones and shared it with WTVC. We have reviewed the video that shows Davis refusing to follow police orders.
(WARNING: The video below contains strong language. Viewer discretion advised.)
The man who showed us the video he shot says he thinks the officers should be in trouble, not the nurse.
"When they pulled out the taser, that's when the nurse said he had a heart condition," Ethan Raymond said.
Davis was medically cleared after the incident and taken to jail.
Raymond says the officer provoked the nurse.
"She was way out of line," Raymond said. "I just know what I saw was the cop that's supposed to diffuse it and instead she was the aggressor from what I saw."
The arrest report states during the commotion Davis was swinging his arms and fists, and punched one of the officers in the face, busting his lip.
Raymond says that isn't true.
"It's the cop who hit him in the face, it's the other way around."
Raymond says he doesn't think Davis did anything wrong.
"He was trying to leave but the woman kept stopping him, it was almost like she was wanting to pick a fight."
PREVIOUSLY: An affidavit obtained by WTVC shares Officer Sarah Rogers' account.
She says she and an Officer Woody were called to the E.R. after reports that Davis, an Erlanger employee, was "continuing to give issues while trying [to] care for the employee's mother in the E.R." At one point, the affidavit says Davis was asked to leave by medical staff and the vice president of Erlanger.
Rogers says when she arrived, she noticed Davis speaking loudly in the middle of the E.R., and she asked him to speak more softly. Davis replied he was speaking with his father and would continue to do so. Rogers said that was fine, but if he continued to speak so loudly, she would ask him to leave the E.R.
The affidavit says Davis then looked at Rogers and said, "Then do it," to which she replied, "OK, leave the building."
The affidavit says Davis did not move and only stared at Rogers. She says she asked him again.
Rogers' account continues:
"At this point I placed my hand on his arm to escort him out the door. As I did this, Mr. Davis started swinging his arms in an attempt to keep me from making him leave. Immediately, Officer Woody and I attempted to take Mr. Davis into custody. Mr. Davis continued swinging his arms and fists at one point punching Officer Woody in the face busting his lip.
"Officer Woody and myself continued to command Mr. Davis to put his hands behind his back and to quit fighting the police. Mr. Davis made no effort to stop his fighting or comply with any commands given by either one of us."
The video provided to WTVC by viewers shows Davis' father urging him to comply with police and trying to put his hands on his shoulders to calm him down.
Rogers says she and Woody were trying to use a "take down technique" to put him into custody but were unsuccessful. She says at that point, she pulled out her stun gun and put it on his chest, saying she told Davis three times if he did not put his hands behind his back, she would be forced to use it.
The affidavit says Davis still would not comply, and Rogers says at one point he said, "Go ahead." Rogers says she then used the stun gun on him, firing it directly into his chest. Davis fell to the ground but Rogers said he was on his back and still would not comply. She says eventually he rolled over onto his stomach and both officers placed him into custody.
Davis was checked out by medical staff and later taken to the Hamilton County jail.
Erlanger spokeswoman Jennifer Tittsworth released this statement about the incident:
Erlanger would like to thank our associates, security and the Chattanooga Police Department for containing the situation that occurred on the evening of April 26 and ensuring the safety of our patients, visitors and staff. Because of their diligence, patient care in the emergency department was in no way impacted as a result of this isolated incident.
Regarding the practice of medical professionals treating their own family members, WTVC discovered there are ethical issues involved.
We found guidance on the website of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It includes a document titled "A Nurse's Guide to Professional Boundaries," which states: "The nurse should avoid situations where he or she has a personal, professional or business relationship with the patient."
You can read the full 12-page document below: (Reading this on our mobile app? Tap here to open an external browser and read the document.)