PITTSFIELD -- A 64-year-old city man who police said sprayed a nurse and others with his blood at a local hospital pleaded guilty to assault and battery and disturbing the peace and was given a one year suspended sentence.
Pittsfield Police and prosecutors say that on Aug. 23, 2012, Ronald Bailey, of Pomeroy Avenue, pulled out his IV line while at Berkshire Medical Center and was waving his bloody hand around, spraying blood on a 43-year-old male registered nurse as well as on several patients, security personnel and other medical staff.
Police said the front of the nurse was splattered with blood "from his head to his feet" and blood had gotten in his mouth.
On Friday in Central Berkshire District Court, Bailey said he never intended to harm anyone, but needed to leave the hospital and wasn’t getting any help removing the IV line.
Bailey told the court that the nurse was attempting to stop the bleeding when the blood got on the man. He also admitted he may have gotten blood on some other people on his way out of the hospital.
Witnesses told police it appeared that Bailey was "deliberately attempting to spray people with blood."
Police were told by the hospital that Bailey had Hepatitis C, a disease that affects the liver and is communicable, but according to Bailey he does not have the disease. Originally charged with felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, the charge was later reduced to misdemeanor assault and battery after a blood test showed Bailey was negative for the disease, according to court records.
In court, Bailey pleaded guilty to the assault and battery charge as well as to disturbing the peace, both misdemeanors.
The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office was seeking a year in jail for Bailey, citing the nature of the crime and his six-page record that includes assaultive behavior as reasons for the request.
Bailey’s attorney, Thomas M. Sherman Jr., told the court that although his client did have a record, he has stayed out of trouble for several years.
Sherman said Bailey has been sober for five years and has turned his life around.
"He isn’t the same man today as he was then," said the attorney.
The male nurse, who gave a victim impact statement during the hearing, said that this wasn’t the first time Bailey has displayed assaultive behavior towards medical staff at BMC.
Sherman said there didn’t appear to be any record of prior cases involving the hospital. He asked that his client be given six months probation.
Judge Fredric D. Rutberg gave Bailey a one year suspended jail sentence and a year’s probation. If Bailey makes it through probation he won’t have to serve any jail time.
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