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Woman Punched Psych Nurse over Florida’s Baker Act

When a woman learned she was going to be held at a mental health facility involuntarily, she allegedly struck one of the attending nurses and said psych nurses should expect they will be hit by patients while on the job.

On February 7, a 32-year-old woman was taken to BayCare Behavioral Health at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater, Florida, for a psychiatric evaluation. They did not reveal the source of the call, but the police report noted that the woman was brought to the unit after “a separate call for service.”

After the woman was brought into a hospital room, she was given a gown and told to take off her street clothing and put it on. She inquired about whether Florida’s Baker Act was why she was being admitted. The University of Florida (UC Health) defined the act, which has been in effect since 1972, as a “law that enables families and loved ones to provide emergency mental health services and temporary detention for people who are impaired because of their mental illness, and who are unable to determine their needs for treatment.”

According to reports, when the nurse confirmed that as the reason for her admission, the woman, who was noted in the arrest report as currently without permanent housing, allegedly became upset and hit her in the face with a closed fist. Afterward, she reportedly told the nurse it should be expected because she works in a psychiatric unit.

Though her mental health problems were noted in the arrest affidavit, the woman was taken into custody and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. She could face charges of felony battery on health service personnel for the incident. According to records, she is still incarcerated.

If you or someone you love is suspected of an assault or battery offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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