LANCASTER, Ohio — A hospital security officer was able to disarm and detain an off-duty employee armed with a handgun near the Fairfield Medical Center’s laundry department after the suspect confronted another employee who works there, according to a news report posted on the hospital’s website.
The incident occurred before lunchtime June 13 near the second-floor laundry, according to the report from WBNS-TV, Columbus, Ohio.
Officer Terry Swinehart was on duty at the hospital when he received a call from a female laundry employee, who reported that a male co-worker had come to her home earlier. Swinehart began to investigate and while he was in a manager’s office, the woman called him again and said the man was now in the laundry department.
Swinehart ran to the area and found the man and woman standing near the laundry entrance. The officer managed to get the man away from the entrance and down a hallway, at which point the man allegedly pulled a revolver from his waistband and pointed it at the female worker.
“His finger was on the trigger and I just remember taking my hand and putting it between the hammer and the gun so when he pulled the trigger, the hammer actually rested on the web of my hand,” Swinehart told WBNS-TV.
The two men struggled, and Swinehart was able to force the man to the ground, disarm him and hold him until local police arrived. Swinehart suffered some cuts and scrapes to his hands, but there were no serious injuries.
Chester Henson, 36, of Carroll, Ohio, was charged with attempt to commit murder, felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon, according to Lancaster police. At press time, he was being held in the Fairfield County jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.
Hospital staff had been alerted that Henson might attempt to retaliate against another employee, according to a hospital press release. Some reports indicated Henson had recently been moved from the laundry department.