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2 Novant Health security guards charged with assault

CHARLOTTE — Two Novant Health security guards facing assault charges.

An employee said security is a major concern, and staffing shortages are making it dangerous for nurses, patients and staff members.

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Officials have not released much information regarding what led to the guards being arrested on the assault charges.

However, staff members have said the hospital has been putting their public safety employees in dangerous situations.

“That hospital is a mess,” said a Novant Health public safety employee, who did not want to be identified. “It’s a constant stress ball.”

The employee said he didn’t know the security guards, Philip Holiday and Franklin Jones, who were charged with assault inflicting serious injury.

The victim in the assault has an extensive arrest history for violent charges including assault, robbery and kidnapping.

On Feb. 8, Holiday and Franklin are accused of striking the victim “about the face and body with a closed fist thereby inflicting serious injury extensive swelling and bruising to face, neck and head, lacerations to mouth, bleeding from nose and mouth and loss of consciousness,” according to arrest warrants.

The hospital confirmed the incident happened in the Behavioral Health Unit.

Several public safety employees told Channel 9 about what they called an unsafe culture at the hospital for security guards and hospital employees.

“The mental health crisis has climbed greatly in the past year or two years since COVID started and even before that,” the employee said. “And we are constantly put in a position where we are dealing with individuals that are very much ready to attack anyone in a uniform.”

The employee said the security team is expected to do a lot, which includes everything from protecting staff from violent patients to performing CPR on patients when the hospital is short on medical staff.

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He said they have not gotten support from the higher-ups.

“They expect a lot out of us, but they don’t give a lot of support,” he told Channel 9.

Statement from Novant Health:

“This matter involves an incident that occurred in the Emergency Department in which a Public Safety Officer was injured during a interaction with a patient. Presbyterian Medical Center is aware of the incident and has cooperated fully with law enforcement in its investigation. Due to the pending charges and the confidentiality of information related to patients in the Behavioral Health Unit, we are unable to make any statement at this time.”

The Department of Public Safety confirmed Holiday and Jones are registered and the Private Protective Services Division has started its own investigation.

(Watch the video below: Head of neurosurgery at Novant Health discusses head injuries after the death of Bob Saget)