Lehigh County PA July 4 2017 Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg nurse stabbed in the neck during an attack Friday in the emergency room needed emergency trauma surgery, according to Lehigh County Court records.
The nurse had treated his alleged attacker last month, but court records gave no other details about a possible motive in the attack.
Joshua Rafael Santos, 19, of the 4700 block of Kathi Drive, Bethlehem, is charged in the attack. Police said Santos fled after the stabbing, but was arrested on Eighth Avenue near Martin Tower a short time after the 9 p.m. incident. Santos is charged with attempted homicide, aggravated and simple assault and remains in Lehigh County Jail under $100,000 bail.
The “entire incident” was captured by the hospital’s security cameras and police say the weapon used was a 5 ½-inch-long blade that was found when Santos was arrested.
According to court records:
Police say just after 9 p.m., Santos walked into the emergency room of the hospital located at 2545 Schoenersville Road. He waited in the general area of the emergency room until a housekeeping employee unlocked a door to a secure area. As the housekeeping employee walked in the secure area, police said Santos followed, although he “had no authorization or right to be” there.
Santos was spotted “wandering” through the halls of the emergency room and a nurse asked if she could help him. Santos said, “no,” and walked to the end of the hall where nurse Leo Bermudez was speaking with another employee.
Santos walked behind Bermudez and pulled something out of his pocket and, “in a stabbing motion,” struck Bermudez in the neck.
Santos fled but another nurse who saw him recognized him as a patient who had been treated by Bermudez in the beginning of June.
Bermudez “was losing blood at a rapid rate” and was likely stabbed in the jugular vein, authorities say. Police say Dr. Jason Morgan was standing nearby and he and other hospital staff immediately helped Bermudez.
Morgan later told police the stab would “absolutely would have led to” Bermudez’s death if not immediately treated.
The hospital had no information on Bermudez’s condition Monday, but tweeted that the attack was an “isolated incident.”
The Morning Call