A 37-year-old nurse at Hillside Psychiatric Centre was grabbed by the throat by a patient with a history of violence Sunday night who then ripped away her security card and escaped from the facility.
Kamloops RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said Monday the 23-year-old man was later caught by police and was in cells to be taken to court later in the day.
The nurse was not seriously injured, and she did call for assistance but the suspect escaped just before 10:30 p.m.
Learned said police were called and found the man in the area around Peterson Creek. An officer who found him tried to take him by the arm back to her cruiser.
"The suspect spun around and struck the officer with an elbow to her head," he said.
He escaped. Officers set up a perimeter and called in a tracking dog. A resident in the 600-block Battle Street told police a man had just walked through his back yard and hopped the fence to a neighbour's property.
The police dog eventually tracked the man to St. Paul Street where he was arrested and taken into police custody.
The man was expected to be charged with assault of the officer and the nurse later Monday.
Learned said he has a history of violence, which is why he was taken to Hillside in the first place.
The man faces two other charges of assault for incidents involving RCMP officers while he was at Vernon Jubilee Hospital. He was transferred from that hospital because of increasing violence and aggression.
"He's violent dealing with people, regardless of who they are," said Learned.
Police are recommending to the court that the man be sent for forensic examination in Vancouver.
Hillside Psychiatric Centre manager Leanne Calvin said the nurse who was grabbed wasn't badly hurt.
"I'm happy to report she's doing well. She hasn't sustained any physical or emotional injuries. She's expected to be at work tomorrow," she said.
"We'll be reviewing this to determine what if anything we can learn to move forward."
All staff at Hillside get code-white training that teaches them how to deal with aggressive and unpredictable behavior, she said.
The centre has a full staffing complement on until 11 p.m., when it goes to night shift. So day-shift staff numbers were on hand when the incident occurred Sunday.
Calvin said staff followed protocol in calling RCMP as quickly as they could.
"The nurses are never alone, they work as a team. Our nurses provide direct patient care, so they certainly have contact with all patients. With that said, safety is a priority for patients and staff," she said.