Doctor forgets his gun in ER restroom


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aut2no
September 3, 2004, 02:47 PM
a local story we don't need as gunowners in Mass. Interesting tidbit - public record of substance abuse yet still got LTC A (our carry permit). His hometown of Gloucester is a friendly town for permit issuance.



http://www.ecnnews.com/cgi-bin/04/s/sstory.pl?sgun

Doctor suspended after leaving loaded gun in Salem hospital restroom
By Jill Harmacinski
Staff writer


SALEM — A doctor who brought a loaded revolver into the emergency room at Salem Hospital, and inadvertently left it in a restroom, has been suspended indefinitely.

Dr. Richard L. Pinegar, 52, of Gloucester, brought the gun to work with him Friday night and left it behind in a restroom in the emergency department when he went to answer a phone call. Another staff member found the gun and alerted a supervisor, who called police.

Pinegar has a valid firearms identification card that allows him to legally carry the revolver, according to a police report. But Salem Hospital has a "weapons free" policy, which bars any employee from bringing a weapon onto hospital property.

Reached at his home yesterday, Pinegar had little comment on the incident, but did say he knows "a number of people are upset."

"It's unfortunate," he added.

He said he is discussing the incident with hospital management and declined further comment. He would not say why he brought the gun to the hospital.

It's unclear what type of weapon Pinegar had on him. A police report described it as a "firearm-revolver."

Security guards at Salem Hospital do not carry guns. Police officers who visit the hospital are asked to lock their revolvers in safes when visiting various areas, including psychiatric units.

The emergency room routinely handles disorderly, mentally ill and intoxicated patients who, at times, can be aggressive and unpredictable. It's unclear how busy the emergency room was that night or how long the firearm was left unattended.

The incident alarmed some hospital staffers, including nurses, who have raised their concerns with hospital management.

At 8:32 a.m. last Saturday morning, Elizabeth Coombs, emergency room nurse manager, called police after a staff member found the revolver in a restroom. "She was concerned that a doctor was carrying a firearm, and she could not see why he was carrying a gun," Patrolman Mark Fabiszewski wrote in his police report.

Other nurses contacted Fran O'Connell, president of the 560-member nurses' union at Salem Hospital.

"We are fully aware and concerned and have made our opinions known to the hierarchy of the institution," O'Connell said yesterday. She said the hospital is conducting an internal investigation.

In a prepared statement released yesterday, Arthur Bowes, senior vice president of human resources at the hospital, confirmed that Pinegar was suspended "pending a full investigation."

"North Shore Medical Center is deeply committed to the safety of its patients," Bowes said in the statement.

"We take this incident very seriously. Our policy clearly prohibits possession of firearms or other weapons on North Shore Medical Center (Salem Hospital) property."

Salem Hospital spokeswoman Lauren Fish, who issued Bowes' statement yesterday, said hospital management would not make any further comment on the issue. It was unclear if Pinegar was suspended with or without pay.

Pinegar was not charged by police as a result of the incident. There is no law against bringing a firearm into a hospital, although state law prohibits firearms in schools, Salem police Lt. Thomas Griffin said.

When he was interviewed by Fabiszewski Saturday morning, Pinegar said he was finishing up an overnight shift as an emergency room doctor. When he went to the restroom, he said, he removed the revolver from his hip. As he went to leave the restroom, he was "distracted by a phone call from a consultant and left the bathroom and weapon behind," according to the police report.

Pinegar has worked at Salem Hospital for just three months, according to the Salem police report.

The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine took disciplinary action against Pinegar from 1995 to 2000, according to information posted on the board's Web site, but no details were available from the board yesterday. However, information posted on a similar Web site in Iowa, where Pinegar is also licensed, indicates his medical license in Massachusetts was placed "on probation for substance abuse" from 1995 to 2000.

A 1978 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine, Pinegar specializes in emergency room and internal medicine. In 1987, he was medical director of the regional chapter of the state's Emergency Medical Services council. He also served on the Gloucester Council on Aging and Board of Health in 1989 and 1990, according to information posted on the Massachusetts board's Web site.

In the past decade, Pinegar has had no criminal convictions, medical malpractice claims or record of hospital discipline, according to the medical board's profile.
_____________________
?I didn't know that hospital was a "gun free zone". Never seen a sign. what an insult to have officers check their sidearms. I'm certainly armed when I'm in there - which is quite often.
Rant Alert - so much for Homeland Security for soft targets like hospitals - and to advertise the fact in the media!! :cuss:

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mete
September 3, 2004, 03:25 PM
"she could not see why he was carrying a gun" The emergency room ? where patients may be violent because they are on drugs or they are psychos ?

Chipperman
September 3, 2004, 03:27 PM
If I don't see a sign, I bring it in.
Never been to that particular institution.
I agree that this is the type of thing that MA gun owners DO NOT need.

Gump
September 3, 2004, 03:42 PM
The real problem is not the guns. It's doctors from Gloucester:what:
Dr. Sharpe comes to mind.........

buy guns
September 3, 2004, 03:49 PM
Note to self: Salem Hospital patrons unarmed...rob at will.

middy
September 3, 2004, 04:46 PM
"she could not see why he was carrying a gun"

No reason needed. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand? Our Founding Fathers would be ashamed of the sheep that inhabit this country nowadays.

Lone_Gunman
September 3, 2004, 05:00 PM
The real problem here is not hospital policy.

The real problem is some idiot left his gun in a bathroom.

These two things are entirely unrelated.

monsternav
September 3, 2004, 08:28 PM
Have to agree with Lone_Gunman here. The doctor was an idiot to leave his gun. I think the supervisor did the right thing calling the police. You never know, some unsavory rype could have left it there for later use.

aut2no
September 3, 2004, 08:38 PM
quote___________________________________________________
The real problem here is not hospital policy.

The real problem is some idiot left his gun in a bathroom.

These two things are entirely unrelated.

____________________________________________________________

I agree the 2 issues are unrelated, I started the thread to point out the idiot who forgot his gun, which unfortunately reflects on gunowners as a whole.

The other comments regarding NGZ were prefaced as a "rant".

Standing Wolf
September 3, 2004, 09:11 PM
People who can't control their guns should rely on 911.

Citizen X 19
September 3, 2004, 10:31 PM
I felt the need to "inject" humor. Do you think the gun he "left in the bathroom" was a Glock?

How popular are Glock's in the doc's hometown of Gloucester?

Sorry about that.

:cool:

TallPine
September 3, 2004, 10:38 PM
of course cops and sky-marshalls can just go leaving their guns lying around and that's okay ....:rolleyes:

TonyB
September 4, 2004, 07:19 AM
I work in a mental hospital.....no guns here either.When the Police need to come in (which is ofter) they also check their guns in security....I laso don't carry at work.If I need to I leave my gun w/ security.It does suck,but I NEED this job.....
as far as leaving your gun in a bathroom:what:

Curare
September 4, 2004, 11:02 AM
My hospital had "No Guns" signs posted after CCW was recently passed. We are allowed to have CCWs on hospital property, locked in our vehicles. We always have atleast half a dozen cops around the hospital for this or that. I'm much more concerned for my safety in the area around the hospital anyway.

The thought of carry into the hospital hasn't crossed my mind. When a doctor commits a crime it doesn't go unnoticed by the media.

Curare
September 4, 2004, 11:06 AM
Quote:

I felt the need to "inject" humor. Do you think the gun he "left in the bathroom" was a Glock?

How popular are Glock's in the doc's hometown of Gloucester?

Sorry about that.

-----------

Smiley face or not, what is your implication? What is so funny to you? I must have missed the joke--please enlighten.

The original post mentioned that he had left a revolver.

eoR
September 4, 2004, 12:54 PM
Smiley face or not, what is your implication? What is so funny to you? I must have missed the joke--please enlighten.

Relax, it was a pun. Gloucester/Glockchester

Baba Louie
September 5, 2004, 06:06 AM
I've always wanted to walk into a public restroom and find that the "Gun-Fairy" left me a handgun for being such a good boy. I'm still waiting for that opportunistic day.
I cannot imagine a reason I'd feel the need to separate my carry piece from my person whilst answering nature's call. (Or while sitting at the computer in the confines of my own house) The shower? Yeah, but it's close by. In bed? OK, but again, it's within reach.
For some reason, I'm hearing Pink Floyd's song "A Momentary Lapse of Reason" in my head.
Silly Physicians. Some People's Kids (shaking head)

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