OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) – An East Alabama Medical Center nurse is recovering after investigators say she was attacked and stabbed in the chest by a knife-wielding patient trying to leave the hospital. The suspect is now facing an assault charge.
Investigators say the attack happened early Thursday morning, June 24th. The events are described in chilling detail in court documents obtained by WRBL News 3. According to the document, the nurse told investigators she was treating the patient, identified as 54-year-old Steven Collins of Opelika when Collins got up and left the hospital room.
“(Nurse’s name redacted) stated that she followed him down the stairs and outside near the Psychiatric Unit when she observed Collins with a knife in his hand. At this point, she attempted to re-enter the hospital, but her key card/ID would not open the door. Collins approached her and stabbed her in the chest once. The victim stated she began to struggle with Collins, who then stopped and stated ‘you’re going to die anyway’ before walking off,” read the deposition filed in Lee County Circuit Court.
The nurse was taken to the EAMC’s ER for treatment. She is expected to recover, thankfully.
Opelika Police located Collins a short time later in a nearby parking lot. Court documents indicate his clothes were bloody, and police recovered a folding pocket knife investigators say Collins threw from his shirt pocket.
“While trying to help with treatment, one of our nurses was assaulted by the patient. A short time later, the patient left the hospital and was apprehended by our hospital security staff and the Opelika Police Department officers, who are stationed on campus 24/7. This was an isolated incident, and we are working with the OPD in their investigation. We’re very thankful that our nurse is stable and recovering and is aware of our full support both today and going forward.” stated EAMC Spokesperson John Atkinson.
Collins was booked into the Lee County Detention Facility on an Assault Second Degree charge and later released on a $25,000 bond.