ER doctor removed from patient care after altercation with neighbor

The 53 year old yelled threats and obscenities at his neighbor.
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An ER doctor has been arrested, charged and removed from patient care after an altercation with his neighbor in Kandiyohi County.

Sean O'Grady, 53, who is an emergency room doctor at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, has been charged with 5th-degree assault, obstructing the legal process, and disorderly conduct over a Nov. 30 incident on Eagle Lake, northeast of Willmar.

The hospital operator, Carris Health, told BMTN that O'Grady has been removed from any role that involves patient care or interaction with patients until the legal action being taken against him has been resolved.

According to a criminal complaint, police were called to the neighbor's house just after noon on Nov. 30 because O'Grady was allegedly screaming at him over "small issues," such as the neighbor's dog getting onto O'Grady's property.

When officers arrived, O"Grady ran up to them and continued screaming, saying his "ignorant, redneck neighbor" had been making comments about his adopted daughter.

Police noted that O'Grady was drinking wine, and was wearing a sweatshirt, shorts and no shoes. The 53 year old told officers that water from his neighbor's sump pump had been running onto his property, at which point he ran out of the front door – barefoot in the snow – to show them where this was happening.

After he was warned he could be arrested, a woman at O'Grady's house told police he was having a bad day and she would calm him down.

The officers left, but they weren't gone for long. They were called back to the house a couple of hours later by the neighbor, who said O'Grady was now on the lake ice outside his house, wearing shorts, shoveling snow and yelling threats towards his house.

The neighbor took video, showing O'Grady shouting that the lake was public property and that if his neighbor wanted to do anything about it, "he'd come out and talk to him one-on-one."

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O'Grady referred to the neighbor on several occasions using a homophobic slur, and then made threats that the neighbor "was a pedophile" and that he would be assaulted if he came outside. He also started running towards his neighbor but stopped before the property line.

Police determined they'd be arresting O'Grady and went over to his house, but had trouble taking him into custody.

O'Grady initially said if the officers came inside he was going to "get his pound of flesh" (a Shakespearian reference).

He tried to barricade the door as police attempted to push their way in, and at one point suggested he'd go and get his gun. 

As the officers entered, O'Grady threw toys at them before he was tasered and taken to the ground, but continued to swear and kick as they handcuffed him.

According to the Rice Memorial Hospital Facebook page, O'Grady joined the facility in August 2017, having previously been a physician at a U.S. Army base in Oklahoma.

In its statement, Carris Health said: "Carris Health has guidelines and expectations regarding employee conduct, which applies to all staff including caregivers. When those expectations aren’t met – such as situations where an employee is involved in a legal matter – we take steps to immediately address the issue.

"Our standard protocol includes removing an employee from any role that involves patient care or interaction with patients. While I can’t discuss confidential employee-related matters specifically, I can assure you that these protocols are being followed regarding this situation."

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