UMC Fatal Knifing Leads to Arrest, Jailed Suspect Refuses to Go to Court
A man who allegedly fatally stabbed one patient and injured another Thursday at University Medical Center (UMC) is now in jail, according to a published Las Vegas news report. The suspect was also a UMC patient. All three had psychiatric diagnoses and were in a dedicated emergency room area for those with emotional illness.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal identified the suspect as Michael Dion Earl, 48. He was booked Thursday at Clark County Detention Center for murder, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon, the newspaper reported, citing jail records.
Earl allegedly refused to appear in Las Vegas court on Friday. He remained in the jail as of late Friday.
As a result of his defiance, Las Vegas Hearing Master Daniel Westmeyer said the suspect would be held without bail, the report said. He is scheduled to appear again in court on Tuesday.
The deceased patient, age 29, was in restraints when he was stabbed, police said. The second victim, age 24, was on a gurney when he was stabbed, but was able to flee to safety.
It is unknown how the suspect was able to possess a knife while in a dedicated psychiatric area in the hospital, KSNV, a local TV station, reported.
There was some kind of dispute between the suspect and first victim before the stabbing. Police did not release their identities. They also did not release the name of the suspect to the media.
Described as Tragedy
In a statement released on Thursday, UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling called the stabbings a “tragic incident.”
Our entire team feels the weight of this tragedy, and words cannot express the profound sympathy we feel for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one following this senseless act of violence,” he said.
In many cases, acute care hospitals, like UMC, “are not the correct setting for behavioral health patients,” Van Houweling said. “Unfortunately, every hospital in Southern Nevada faces similar challenges, as we all care for a growing number of patients with acute mental health needs.”
He adds that the Southern Nevada region has an “urgent need” for additional mental health services. These include psychiatric emergency rooms, as well as crisis stabilization and outpatient mental health services.
Last month, an unnamed man fell from outside of a railing on a pedestrian bridge in downtown Las Vegas on May 15. He later died at UMC from his injuries.
The man was standing by the railing on the bridge over Fremont Street that links the third level of Neonopolis and a parking garage. Neonopolis is a 250,0000-square-foot shopping mall and entertainment complex.
It appeared the man was suicidal, KLAS, a local TV station, reported. Initial reports did not say if the man ever told police he wanted to jump to Fremont Street below.
Officers tried to negotiate with the man so the incident could end safely and peacefully, according to the Review-Journal. They tried to get him to voluntarily come down from the bridge, KSNV reported. But the man fell later in the day.
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