Whidbey resident charged with assaulting paramedic, nurse

A 57-year-old Freeland woman accused of assaulting a paramedic and a nurse while she was highly intoxicated is facing felony charges, court documents indicate.

Prosecutors charged Shirley Lovern in Island County Superior Court June 29 with two counts of third-degree assault, which is defined as the “assault of a nurse or health care provider who was performing her nursing or health care duties at the time of the assault.”

Deputy Chris Peabody with the Coupeville Marshal’s Office responded to a report of a combative patient at Whidbey General Hospital June 26.

A paramedic reported that Lovern became verbally abusive and combative while being transported in an ambulance. Lovern pulled out her IV and squirted blood all over the ambulance and the paramedic while scratching and pinching the woman, Peabody’s report states. As a result, the driver pulled over so that a deputy could help restrain her.

The paramedic was “in fear of contamination from bodily fluids because Ms. Lovern was bleeding and scratching at her while acting belligerent,” Peabody wrote.

Then at the hospital, Lovern walked on top of a bed and kicked a nurse in the chest, the report states.

According to court documents, Lovern’s blood-alcohol concentration at the hospital was measured at 0.30 percent. The legal driving limit is 0.08 percent.

The report states that Lovern was transported to the hospital by ambulance three times in a 48-hour period. The last time, Lovern allegedly passed out on the steps of her home after returning from the hospital.

At a June 28 hearing, Judge Vickie Churchill set Lovern’s bail at $10,000 and ordered, as a condition of her release, that she “shall not phone for emergency services without need.”

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