Compassion is something that police departments often fail at. Recognizing addiction problems, especially in our older veteran population, and helping them get treatment instead of jail, is often another. Vanderbilt Police officers are no different, and technically fall under the MNPD, as they are empowered to make arrests as “Special Police Officers,” through the authority of the Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Tuesday was a sad day for both Vanderbilt Hospital, and the Vanderbilt University Police Department, as well as the MNPD, as they failed a 70 year old veteran in Nashville by ripping him from his hospital bed by force, and took him to jail, over an issue with drugs that the hospital had been giving him.
The 70yo patient(a veteran) is currently in the Davidson County Jail, on a $5,000 bond, charged with:
- OBTAINING SCHEDULE DRUG BY FRAUD (T.C.A. 53-11-402)
- RESISTING STOP, FRISK, HALT, ARREST, OR SEARCH (T.C.A. 39-16-602)
According to reports filed by Vanderbilt Community Service Officer Erich N Strogner on 08/26, who was the arresting officer, he was dispatched to Vanderbilt Hospital on a report of a patient hiding drugs from Vanderbilt staff. while staff was checking patient Sneed’s room per hospital policy, they located a prescription bottle for Hydrocodone from the VA Hospital. The bottle had been filled the same day Sneed checked into the hospital (7/22/2017) and was entirely full, although the label stated it should have 12 tablets. Upon further checking, staff found that there were 64 tablets in the bottle that matched the dosage that he had been receiving in the hospital (5mg) and only 9 that matched the dosage of the bottle (7.5mg). Many of the tablets were slightly eroded, consistent with having been in a mouth and spit out.
A further check showed that Sneed had not received any prescriptions for 5mg tablets from any facility, but had obtained 3 prescriptions for higher dosages of Hydrocodone in the 3 weeks prior to checking into Vanderbilt. Records showed that Sneed had frequently requested the Hydrocodone complaining of severe hip pain. In total, staff located 64 of the 91 tablets administered during his stay. While Strogner was speaking with staff, Sneed called Vanderbilt Police dispatch claiming that staff had stolen his property.
When Strogner spoke with Sneed, he stated that they had taken his prescription from the VA. Strogner asked if the only pills in the bottle were from the prescription from the VA, which he stated that they were. Strogner confronted him regarding the dosage and count difference and told him he would be confiscating those pills he had received from Vanderbilt. He acknowledged that the pills were those administered from Vanderbilt.
Strogner says in his affidavit: “Based off of his obtaining prescriptions prior to the time that they should have been used, his daily frequent requests for Hydrocodone, and him using only 27 of the 91 pills administered to him and hiding the remaining, it is my belief that Sneed was obtaining Hydrocodone by misrepresentation of his symptoms and deception towards the medical staff.”
Strogner then states that he went to serve warrant GS825789 on Sneed at Vanderbilt University Hospital. “When I approached Sneed, I informed him that I had a warrant for his arrest and told him to sit up and place his hands behind his back. Sneed asked if he could finish eating and I informed him he could not and repeated my command to sit up and put his hands behind his back. Sneed threw his food and yelled “fuck you!” I went to grab his wrist and he pulled away. Sneed placed both hands under his torso and grabbed the bed with one hand. He refused multiple verbal commands to let go and place his hands behind his back. Sneed continuously twisted his body and pull away from me. Two other officers arrived a couple of minutes later and we had to forcibly place his hands behind his back to handcuff him. Sneed was transported to booking on his outstanding warrant and resisting arrest.”