By Andrea Flores
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver Health Medical Center visitor became a patient after he claims security guards beat him over the weekend.
Nick Montez, 20, walked into the emergency room to check on his brother, an underage gunshot victim, at approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday.
When he tried to meet his mother in the hallway, Montez claims two security guards tackled him.
“One of them tried putting me in a headlock, and I pushed him off me right away, and the other one was hitting me with a flashlight,” Montez said. “While I was getting handcuffed on the ground, the other one was tasing me while I was already handcuffed.”
His mother, Michelle Martinez, says the hits kept coming even after he was cuffed.
“I started screaming, ‘You guys are going to kill my son. Stop hitting him,’ and they just would not stop,” Martinez said. “It was almost like he was being crucified.”
When she tried to defend her son, Martinez says the guards turned on her.
“They were in my face, pushing me, grabbing me, and shoving me,” Martinez said. “I don’t know why they would do this to us. I don’t think we’re the only people they’ve done it to; I think we’re the only people speaking out on it.”
Denver Health issued the following statement:
“We take this matter very seriously and are currently investigating the events that occurred at our hospital early Saturday morning.”
HSS provides security for the hospital. They issued a statement:
Two HSS officers tried to prevent a disruptive and combative person from entering the emergency room where a family member was being treated for a gunshot wound. At some point during the ensuing event HSS officers deployed a Taser to control the person, which was not effective. The person suffered a head injury when subdued by officers. HSS officers were joined by Denver Sheriff’s deputies on-duty at the hospital, who eventually were able to control the person, who then received medical treatment for his injury.
Alan Butler, Senior Vice President of healthcare security for HSS, said one of the HSS officers has been placed on leave during the internal review and the other remains on duty but has been reassigned. Butler claims both officers suffered injuries during the event.
Despite the response, Martinez wants the guards to be held accountable for their actions.
“I want them to lose their jobs; I want them to get criminally charged,” Martinez said.
Montez plans to meet with Denver police investigators Monday.