Man claimed to be 'mad scientist' at hospital
UNIONTOWN, Pa. (AP) - April 12, 2012 (WPVI) -- A man was charged with trespassing and pushing a nurse as he wandered the halls of a southwestern Pennsylvania hospital claiming to be a "mad scientist," but he told The Associated Press he was just curious about hospital operations and meant no harm.
"I just went up to the hospital. I was in my house studying science books. I like to study them because I'm a mad scientist," Jerry Wingrove, 37, of Uniontown, told the AP on Wednesday.
But Wingrove denied attempting to harm the nurse. Uniontown Hospital police said the nurse confronted Wingrove shortly after noon Tuesday.
Police did not immediately return a call for comment on charges of aggravated assault, defiant trespass and harassment against Wingrove, who was released on bond after a mental health evaluation. He faces a preliminary hearing May 1.
Police charge that Wingrove was wandering on the second floor and trying to read patient information on hospital computers when he pushed the nurse. Although that would normally be simple assault, a misdemeanor, police filed a felony aggravated assault charge because the nurse was in a position of legal authority at the time.
Wingrove acknowledged he was wrong to touch the hospital computer, but tried to explain his actions by telling the AP that he was studying brain waves and other phenomena and intended to heal some people at the hospital, including the nurse.
"That's all it was. I wanted to heal her mind but she's just so daggone sick," Wingrove said.
Spokesman Jim Proud said the hospital invested in its own police force for just such a situation.
"We want our building, staff and patients to be safe," Proud said. "We are glad that no one was seriously injured."
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