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Local

Man threatens hospital staff after refusing to wear a mask

Forty-year-old Newton man faces multiple charges after refusing to wear a mask at hospital and threatening to sneeze on staff members.

According the report, the Newton Police Department was dispatched at 9:37 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15 to MercyOne Newton Medical Center in regards to a male who was threatening staff and damaging hospital property. Upon arrival, officers identified Jerad O. Oldham as the man in question.

Hospital staff members told police Oldham was asked to wear a mask, and he refused. He then threatened to sneeze in the staff member’s face who requested he put on a mask. He continued to yell at staff, telling them to step back or else someone was going to get hurt.

The threats continued as Oldham said he would fight the staff member because “I am not doing anything you ask me to do,” according to the report. Oldham then used a racial slur toward a staff member who was trying to help de-escalate the situation. He continued to make threats every time this staff member came near his hospital room.

During the course of the incident, Oldham damaged hospital property valued at $150.

Oldham has been charged with assault on persons in certain occupations, assault on persons in certain occupations — intent of injury and fifth-degree criminal mischief. He was arrested and taken to the Jasper County Jail.

Oldham is being held on $1,500 cash or surety bond. His pre-trial conference has been set for 9 a.m. Sept. 28.

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