, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 15, 2013

Hospital patient arrested in tussle

Guard alleges he ‘chomped’ on her thumb

— A Muskogee man is being held without bond after an alleged attack on a Muskogee County sheriff’s deputy working as a security guard at EASTAR Health System.

David Crawford, 65, was arrested on complaints of aggravated assault and battery and maiming, but Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said the final charges would likely be different.

Crawford allegedly attacked Deputy Rae Lea Spears on Tuesday night in the hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit. Spears said Crawford bit her thumb and wrestled with her after she grabbed him, believing that he was about to jump on a nurse.

Moore said he expected Crawford to be charged next week with assault and battery on emergency medical security personnel, a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in prison.

Spears said Crawford attacked her after she tried to calm him down following an outburst in which Crawford began to trash a day room in the Behavioral Health Unit.

“They were trying to put a nightgown on him — he was sitting there naked — and he wouldn’t put it on,” Spears said. “I was trying to talk to him, to build a rapport, and was asking him to put some clothes on and clean up his mess.”

Spears said that during this conversation, a nurse leaned over to pick up a pen she had dropped.

“(Crawford) got up like he was going to jump on her, so I grabbed him,” Spears said. “He grabbed a hold of my hand and bit down on my thumb. He chomped on it like it was a carrot stick.”

Spears said Crawford was taken to the floor but still had her thumb in his mouth. A nearby nursing supervisor grabbed Spears’ hand and yanked it free. One of Crawford’s teeth came out as well.

“I guess I’m lucky he had bad teeth,” Spears said. “Because he was definitely not letting go.”

Spears said she suffered skin damage to her thumb and a fractured knee.

“I’m going back in a couple days to be examined,” she said. “They said I might need an MRI on my knee, but they won’t know until then. But, it’s fractured.”

No bond had been set for Crawford as of Friday, although Moore said prosecutors anticipated requesting a $5,000 bond.

A request for a mental health evaluation would be up to Crawford and his attorney, Moore said.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or

Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.