Police arrested a Santa Fe man accused of drunkenly threatening staff at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center with a hospital thermometer Thursday, a criminal complaint says.
Officers went to the hospital at about 6:20 p.m. after employees reported Ronald Gallegos, 57, had tried to stab a nurse and a doctor with a Welch Allyn thermometer, the complaint says.
The nurse told police that after Gallegos was brought to the hospital at 6 p.m. for alcohol intoxication, he had been threatening the nurse and paramedics, saying, “I am going to kill you all! I’m gonna punch you in the face, I’m not scared.” The nurse said he tried to calm Gallegos down by offering him food and water. Gallegos was then left in a room next to the nursing station.
As the nurse and a doctor were talking with a patient in an adjoining room, Gallegos suddenly entered with a thermometer probe in his hand, pointed downward “like he intended to stab them with it,” the complaint says. The nurse told police Gallegos told him and the doctor, “You’re already dead.”
The nurse and the doctor grabbed Gallegos, pulled him to the floor and took the thermometer probe from his hand. Hospital security then handcuffed Gallegos.
Officers said Gallegos appeared extremely intoxicated and had difficulty standing up on his own. He was booked into Santa Fe County jail on charges of aggravated assault on health care workers with a deadly weapon. He was also charged with criminal property damage for ripping the $250 thermometer from its cord.