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Local News

More Details on St. Charles Incident


More details have been released on the incident where Jerry Nichols, 64, of Bend allegedly assaulted ER staff at St. Charles and was allegedly assaulted by a Bend Police officer.

 

According to the Oregon State Police report, Bend Police Officer Steve Craig responded to the 911 call for help on August 12th, after ER staff reported Nichols out of control.

 

Nichols left the building and was sitting at a picnic table on hospital grounds with a security officer when he saw Officer Craig and advanced toward him with raised fists.

 

The altercation that ended when Nichols stopped breathing was captured on video.

 

The Deschutes County DA's Office will continue the investigation.

 

You can find the complete transcript of the OSP report below:

 

On August 12, 2012 at approximately 7:00 p.m., the Deschutes County 9-1-1 received numerous calls from employees within the Emergency Room (ER) at St. Charles Medical Center reporting a patient was out of control and physically assaulting the ER staff.  The patient was later identified as Jerry J. Nichols, age 64, from Bend.  NICHOLS had been receiving medical treatment and was noted as having breathing issues at the ER just prior to and during the time he assaulted ER staff.  Nichols then exited the ER.

 

At some time after Nichols exited the ER he sat at a picnic table outside with a security officer.  Within minutes, Bend Police Officer Steve Craig arrived at the ER entrance in response to the 911 call.  Nichols left the table he was seated at, crossed into the parking area where Officer Craig was exiting his marked police vehicle and advanced toward the officer.

 

 

The officer initially attempted to verbally calm Nichols and asked him to sit back down to talk.  Based on video footage, it appears Nichols continued advancing toward the officer and he raises his fists.  Officer Craig retreated backwards but Nichols continued to advance toward him while punching at the officer.  At some point, Officer Craig deployed his Taser to stop Nichols but the Taser was ineffective.  Nichols continued to advance toward the officer.  The officer then used an open hand strike and struck the left side of Nichols' head with the palm of his hand to stop Nichols' attempted assault.  Nichols fell backward and downward landing in a seated position on the ground.  Nichols then fought with Officer Craig and a medical staff member as they tried to place Nichols in custody to prevent further incidents.  Nichols was restrained shortly thereafter.

At this time Nichols stopped breathing and lifesaving procedures were administered by medical personnel.  Nichols was revived and admitted to St. Charles Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition for several days.

 

 

Nichols died at 4:34 p.m., on August 20, 2012 while at St. Charles Medical Center.  An autopsy was conducted on August 21, 2012 by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.  The results of the autopsy are pending.

 

 

Officer Stephen Craig has twenty-six years of service as a police officer, of which thirteen years of service have been with the City of Bend.

 

 

Oregon State Police jointly worked with Bend Police Department on the investigation.  The Deschutes County District Attorney's Office assisted with the investigation.  Any further questions should be directed to the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office


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