Hospital employee accused of punching 86-year-old heart surgery patient in Brooklyn | Exclusive

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Friday, May 10, 2024
Brooklyn hospital employee accused of punching heart surgery patient
N.J. Burkett has the story in Brooklyn on the incident.

PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- An employee at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital was charged after allegedly punching a heart surgery patient on Thursday.

Mathew Waterman, 43, was charged with assault after the 86-year-old victim said he was punched in the left eye.

Arthur Dunlap said it happened after he had been wheeled back to the floor after an examination. The attendant, he says, was rude and disrespectful and he jammed a finger in his face.

Dunlap says he was punched after he objected to the man's tone.

"I pushed his finger away and he closed his fist at the same time, that's how fast it was," Dunlap said. "Punched me right here. It was so fast. I saw it coming but I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't get out of the way."

Dunlap is a retired maintenance man from Brooklyn, where he raised five children. He was hospitalized this week for a heart operation.

"He made sure that that door was shut, I said, 'you hit me,' he said, 'don't worry about it, I'll hit you again but, anyway, nobody's gonna believe you, you can call whoever you want, ain't nobody gonna believe you,'" Dunlap said.

Dunlap's son is furious.

"You don't put your hands on an old man, who does that? And I mean, you sit there, you look at the news, day after day after day, and you see all these fools doing what they're doing to these elderly people and now it's coming to me, I'm a victim of that, my father is a victim of this," said Earl Dunlap.

His father was examined after the incident and his family says he has no bruises or broken bones.

But Arthur says what happened to him was outrageous, regardless.

"At my age, in my condition, what could I possibly do with a younger man to protect myself?" Dunlap said.

Dunlap is recovering from the assault and his surgery is delayed until next week.

NewYork-Presbyterian released the following statement:

"The safety and wellbeing of our patients is our priority. This person has been placed off duty while this matter is being investigated."

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