Christchurch Hospital gang fight sees drinks flying, men falling on floor
A witness has described the terrifying moment a gang fight broke out at Christchurch Hospital’s emergency department, with men attacking each other and falling on the floor near sick patients.
One person has been arrested after a small group of gang members or associates had an altercation in the hospital’s waiting room.
Police said one person had been assaulted. “It was reported to police that the incident involved Mongrel Mob members/associates.”
A witness, who did not want to be identified, told the Herald that, when she walked in, she noticed three people, including a man wearing gang patches, sitting together happily until the gang member said something.
“I don’t know what he said but they both started attacking each other physically, drinks on the floor went flying and they broke the yellow and black tape that keeps people in line.
“They got very physical with each other and nurses rushed everyone waiting in line to the other side of the room.”
The witness claimed that, when she was waiting in line to see a nurse, one of the men was pushed and fell on the floor in front of her.
“I was concerned that a nurse or security guard was going to be seriously hurt. I also felt angry that they had to do it in front of so many sick people. It delayed people getting seen and that’s not fair,” she said.
Joanne Gibbs, Te Whatu Ora’s interim Canterbury group director of operations, told the Herald no patients or staff were in danger.
“The first guard on the scene was only metres away from the incident when it occurred.
“In total, five on-site security guards responded to the incident. The quick actions of the security team, bolstered by the new additional guards in ED, meant the incident was swiftly contained in a matter of minutes.
“Our usual process is to call police when these types of incidents occur, and they arrived quickly.”
It comes as the Government announced hospitals in the biggest cities and holiday hotspots would get an extra 200 security staff over the summer to counter increasing levels of “unacceptable” violence in emergency departments.
Just before Christmas, Health Minister Shane Reti announced a $5.7 million boost to employ additional security staff in 32 hospitals until late February.
He said this was only a short-term fix and the Government was working towards creating a long-term strategy including reduced waiting times, which were a major factor in the increased abuse of staff.
Article written by (Pierre Nixon, www.nzherald.co.nz – Original article)