Willmar hospital employee stabbed by combative patient, police say

3 April 2024

WILLMAR, Minn. — An employee of Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar suffered serious injury Monday morning after being stabbed with a knife by a patient with a history of erratic behavior.

According to a news release from Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt, the injured CentraCare employee was treated but no condition was immediately available.

Police in the western Minnesota community were dispatched around 11:33 a.m. Monday to the Rice Memorial Hospital emergency department to assist with a combative patient.

The suspect, identified as a 31-year-old male from Willmar, had been in the hospital for an apparent mental health issue. According to the release, he produced a knife and stabbed the employee.

According to Felt, the injured employee had escaped to safety while the suspect was subdued by hospital security, emergency medical services and other emergency department staff.

The suspect also injured himself during the incident. He was treated and then transported to the Kandiyohi County Jail, where he is being held on pending first- and second-degree assault charges, according to the news release.

Felt said the investigation remains ongoing but noted the suspect has a “significant history” of erratic behavior. Felt said the suspect is currently on probation for a different case, in which he was also charged with second-degree assault.

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