Man arrested after assault in Hendry Regional ER

Richard Ernest Lunsford

Richard Ernest Lunsford

Police were called to Hendry Regional Medical Center’s emergency room on Thanksgiving Day because a man armed with an IV machine was attempting to hit staff members, the Clewiston Police Department reported.

Richard Ernest Lunsford, 62, of Clewiston, was arrested Nov. 26 and charged with aggravated assault on an officer, damage of property $1,000 or more, and resisting an officer with violence, according to an arrest report released by Clewiston police.

Lunsford was reportedly locked in a room where Baker Act patients are held when police arrived. He was apparently using an IV machine and pole to strike the walls of the room and was allegedly threatening to hit the officers if they entered the room.

Officers asked staff to unlock the door and as they entered the room Lunsford reportedly lunged towards them with the IV pole. Officers told Lunsford to drop the pole or he would be tased, but Lunsford apparently did not listen.

An officer deployed his taser but one of the prongs missed him. Two other officers reportedly tackled Lunsford to the ground and tried to restrain him. Lunsford allegedly resisted until a third officer deployed his taser again.

After Lunsford was medically cleared, he was brought to the police department on charges of aggravated assault, damage of property and resisting an officer with violence. He remains in custody at the Hendry County Jail on $25,000 bond.

Damage to the IV machine and room was estimated at about $2,000, according to the report.

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