A 57-year-old woman died Monday (Dec. 21) after being forcibly removed from a Florida hospital. Barbara Dawson was still in pain when she was deemed medically stable, and discharged from Calhoun-Liberty Hospital in Blountstown.
Cops were called to the hospital at around 4:45 a.m. An officer reportedly asked Dawson to leave “multiple times” before she was arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
She was walked off the property in handcuffs and collapsed at the officer’s squad car. “When he got her to the car, he opened the door and tried to put her in the car and after then she collapsed,” said Dawson’s aunt, Angela Donar. “They got the doctor to come out there and get a pulse of her and they couldn’t get no pulse. They bought a stretcher out there and took her back in the hospital.”
Blountstown Police Chief Mark Mallory said in a statement that the arresting officer asked for help “once he realized the patient did indeed appear to be unresponsive and had medical staff respond to Ms. Dawson.”
The officer’s dash-cam picked up audio, but no video, from the incident, Mallory said. The footage will be released “in due time.”
He also requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement do a separate investigation. “Blountstown is a small, close-knit community, we look after each other, and we care for each other,” he said in a statement. “I am not a physician and cannot address the medical condition of Ms. Dawson. What I can say is that we all grieve when we lose a community member.”
Dawson’s family plans to sue the hospital.