Lowell man held without bail for attack on Lowell General Hospital nurse

LOWELL, Mass. — Jean Paul Durand, a Lowell homeless man, is facing three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for an unprovoked attack on a nurse at Lowell General Hospital’s Saints Campus Saturday night.

According to court documents, the incident happened just before 9:30 p.m. inside Lawrence General Hospital’s Sullivan Two section, a mental health unit.

Police said video surveillance revealed Durand picking up a fire extinguisher over his shoulders and twice hitting the victim on the back of her head while she had her back turned and was entering notes into a computer at the nurse’s station.

A second nurse drew Durand’s attention, and according to the document, Durand allegedly chased her around the nurse’s station with the fire extinguisher until security finally subdued Durand. When Lowell Police arrived, Durand was in four-point restraints and still “wildly waving his limbs around.”

>>>PREVIOUS: Nurse recovering after being attacked by patient with fire extinguisher at Lowell General Hospital

“Absolutely horrified. And I’m so worried about that nurse. So worried about her colleagues who witnessed it. Worried about everybody involved,” Massachusetts Nurses Association President Katie Murphy said. “It’s a horrible, horrible assault on a health care provider.”

The Massachusetts Nurses Association has long been fighting for safer work environments for health care providers. Murphy said health care workers are up to 12 times more likely to be victims of workplace violence than other professionals.

The MNA is sponsoring legislation that addresses violence against health care workers.

“I think if you talk to any health care provider, they will talk about times they were kicked, bitten, stabbed, hit with objects, splashed with blood. Everybody has the story,” Murphy said.

In the Lowell attack, the victim is recovering. Meanwhile Jean Paul Durand is scheduled to appear in Lowell District Court Friday for a dangerousness hearing that could keep him behind bars without bail.

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