LEESBURG, Fla. – A Leesburg doctor was arrested Wednesday morning, accused of battering a semi-unconscious patient with her own hand, according to police.
Onyekachi Nwabuko, 44, was taken into custody at UF Health Leesburg after staff members there described the incident to officers, records show.
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According to testimony from the victim, a hospital director, two registered nurses and an emergency room technician, Nwabuko battered the victim three separate times.
A staff member acknowledged to police that a common practice to verify a patient’s unconscious state is to drop their hand over their face, and if the patient is alert, “they will either move or stop their hand to prevent it from striking their face,” records show.
The same staff member doubted that Nwabuko was performing that practice, adding that they could see the victim attempting to resist as Nwabuko applied more pressure to the strikes, police said.
Nwabuko was assessing the victim for possible intubation when he first battered her face with her left hand, police said.
The victim’s IV line came out of her left arm in the second alleged battery and she began to bleed on her chest and face, police said. In response, police said Nwabuko ordered a staff member to retrieve a new face mask before he left the room.
The victim told a nursing supervisor that she could hear and see Nwabuko tell her she was faking, mocking her, yet was unable to speak or physically resist the force he was using, police said.
The victim suffered significant injuries to her face, involving swelling, redness and bruising to her left eye, police said.
Nwabuko faces three counts of misdemeanor battery charges in the alleged incident, records show.
UF Health provided News 6 with the following statement, in which a spokesperson said in-part that the incident involved an independent physician who was not employed by the hospital system: