Hospital worker arrested in child choking incident

November 15, 2011 1:38:53 PM PST
A Freeport man has been arrested for allegedly choking a child at a hospital.

According to detectives, Azoumana Ouattara, 45, became angry at the six-year-old patient at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

"He choked me first and then he put his hands around," Nicholas, the patient, told Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger earlier this month.

Police say Ouattara caused contusions when he grabbed the child around the neck. Ouattara is employed as a patient care assistant at the hospital.

Nicholas suffers from hyperactivity and mood disorders, and was an inpatient on the pediatric psychiatry floor at Nassau University Medical Center.

On Friday night, he refused to go to bed.

But his mother Angela says that's when an orderly picked up the 6-year-old by the throat and forced him to lie down, leaving those marks on his neck.

Ouattara claims Nicholas was throwing a violent tantrum and needed to be restrained for his own safety.

He is charged with Assault 2nd Degree, Strangulation and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. He will be arraigned at First District Court in Hempstead on Wednesday.

The family's attorney, Ken Mollins says he plans to file suit against NUMC. He says there's simply no excuse for a child to enter the hospital and leave with contusions on his neck.

"They're there to oversee the most vulnerable off people the sick the disabled and for them to allow something like this to happen has to be attended to," Mollins said.