Officer accused of pepper spraying restrained patient at Seattle hospital pleads not guilty

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Nicholas Hogan, 35, has pleaded not guilty to a criminal civil rights violation for allegedly pepper spraying a restrained patient at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, according to The Seattle Times.

In 2011, while on the Tukwila, Wash., police force, Mr. Hogan took a man who had been in a fight to Harborview to get stitches before booking him in jail. When they arrived at the hospital, Mr. Hogan allegedly kneed the handcuffed man in the head multiple times while pulling him from the back seat of the police cruiser, according to Tukwila police reports. While in the emergency room waiting area, Mr. Hogan allegedly shoved and tackled the man, who is identified in court documents only as "M.S."

Nurses and security officers at Harborview complained about the officer's actions. The patient was subsequently placed in four-point restraints on a gurney. Mr. Hogan sat on a stool next to the gurney in a small area enclosed by curtains. While the patient was restrained, Mr. Hogan sprayed him in the eyes with pepper spray. Mr. Hogan reported that he responded with pepper spray after M.S. threatened him and lunged at him, according to the report.

After the incident, the city of Tukwila fired Mr. Hogan for using excessive force. A grand jury indicted Mr. Hogan May 19 on a single count of violating the civil rights of M.S.

Mr. Hogan's trial is scheduled for Aug. 8, according to The Seattle Times.

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