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Charges Filed Against Knox Man Accused of Attempting to Flee Hospital After Being Involuntarily Committed

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 @ 12:02 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

shutterstock_608376650-cuffsCRANBERRY TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Knox man is facing charges for allegedly attempting to flee an area hospital after being involuntarily committed and then struggling with security officers.

According to court documents, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center filed the following charges against 39-year-old Michael Paul Cain:

– Aggravated Assault – Fear of Imminent Serious Bodily Injury designated individuals, Felony 2
– Disorderly Conduct Engage In Fighting, Misdemeanor 3 (two counts)

The charges stem from an incident that recently occurred at UPMC Northwest in Cranberry Township, Venango County.

According to a criminal complaint, around 10:18 p.m. on Monday, February 3, Corporal Theiss, of the UPMC Police, received a phone call from the UPMC Northwest Emergency Department stating there was a psychiatric patient putting on his shoes, and they were afraid he was going to attempt to leave the hospital.

Cpl. Theiss and PSO Chapman responded and found the patient, identified as Michael Paul Cain, putting on his shoes “so he could go to the nurse’s station down the hall to make a phone call.” Cain was then advised he needed to stay in his room, and Cpl. Theiss offered to find out if he could have his cell phone to make a call.

Cpl. Theiss went to speak with the social worker, and someone then yelled for him to come back, as Cain was attempting to leave. Cpl. Theiss caught up to Cain as he was entering the Emergency Department lobby, where he was attempting to find a phone. Cpl. Theiss then got between Cain and the individuals in the lobby.

According to the complaint, Cain then proceeded toward Cpl. Theiss in an aggressive manner and pushed him, at which point Cpl. Theiss attempted to gain control of Cain to keep him from harming anyone in the lobby.

The complaint notes Cpl. Theiss then observed Cain had a pen in his right hand gripped tightly in his fist and appeared that he was going to “use it as a shank.” Cpl. Theiss attempted to grab the pen, but Cain pulled away. Cpl. Theiss instructed Cain to drop the pen, and after several demands, he complied and threw it to the ground.

Trooper Smolko of the Franklin-based State Police then arrived at the scene and attempted to speak with Cain and get him back to his room. Cain allegedly refused to comply at first, but eventually agreed to return to his room.

The complaint states around 11:00 p.m. the Mental Health Delegate arrived at the Emergency Department and a “302” involuntary committal was signed a short time later. Cain was then to be transferred to the UPMC Northwest Behavioral Health Unit for further psychiatric evaluation and observation.

Around 12:30 a.m. on February 4, Cpl. Theiss was called back to the Emergency Department on an unrelated matter. As he was walking back, he stopped to speak with another security officer, and saw Cain standing at his doorway, stating he wanted a copy of his paperwork. Cain allegedly did not believe he was “302’d” because he refused to sign the paperwork. Cpl. Theiss explained he was involuntarily committed and he was not free to leave because of it.

Cpl. Theiss then proceeded to another room to speak with another patient but was called back out to the hall and informed Cain had fled down the hallway. Cpl. Theiss and PSO Reynolds then chased Cain and had to put him to the ground to get him under control. The complaint notes Cain continued to struggle after he was down, and managed to get up to his knees. Cpl. Theiss then drew his taser and switched it on, and Cain then settled down and agreed to return to his room.

The charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey’s office on Thursday, February 13.

A preliminary hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.

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