VICTIM ZONE: Thief cuts man, 79, during assault in hospital garage

The Toledo Blade is reporting that a thief followed a West Toledo couple to their car in the St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center parking garage, brandished a knife, and cut the husband's hand yesterday while reaching for the wife's purse.

What the Blade did NOT report is that St. Vincent's affirmatively disarms its customers by posting "no-guns" signs.

The husband, 79, was treated for the wound to his right hand at St. Vincent.

The Blade reports the incident, which was committed in broad daylight, was the third purse-snatching from the medical center garage in the last three months.

Police told the newspaper the thief, dressed in a down coat with a satchel over his shoulder, was behind the man and his wife, as they walked down the hall to the parking garage elevator, which he boarded with them.

The Toledo Blade account continues:

    All three left the elevator on the fifth floor. At the car, [the husband] got into the passenger's seat. [The wife] got in and was about to close the driver's door when a man reached over her to grab her purse. [The husband] received a deep cut as he raised his hand to shield his wife and push the man away.

    [The wife] kept the purse, but the thief was able to get a wallet. As the thief ran away, [the husband] followed. [The wife] screamed for help, and security officers were there within seconds, police said.

    Police had no one in custody last night.

Sarah Bednarski, a spokesman for Mercy Health Partners, which operates the hospital, told the Blade that St. Vincent has continual patrols of the six-story garage and security cameras, one of which captured an image of the man. But tragically, this incident has proven yet again that "no-guns" signs, security cameras, and even guards, cannot protect defenseless patrons.

The hospital spokesperson also told the newspaper that St. Vincent is "examining our safety enhancements. Over the last few months, we have added cameras in our parking garage [and] security staff. We have a mobile van that will take patients and their visitors to their cars if they need an escort. Our goal is always to provide the safest environment we can."

If this is true, then why does the hospital announce to criminals that its patrons and patients are defenseless? Why does it affirmatively act to disarm people who have a human right to self-defense?

The hospital spokesperson told the Blade that "we expressed our regret to our visitors that this happened."

How nice of them.


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