Doctor Stabbed In ER; Patient Faces Battery Charge
Brandon Regional Hospital is offering support for employees who need help coping with the stabbing of an emergency room doctor Tuesday night. Spokeswoman Melonie Hall said the hospital is "focused on taking care of the employees and especially the physician. We want to focus on her recovery." Carolyn Faulk came in complaining of abdominal pain and a physician treated her, a criminal arrest affidavit states. The physician, Marifel Juarbe, was giving discharge instructions to Faulk, 30, of 659 Baker St., Wauchula, when for no apparent reason Faulk became angry and got a steak knife out of her purse, Hillsborough County deputies say. Faulk stabbed Juarbe in the arms, neck and back, according to the affidavit. Juarbe was cut about a dozen times.The doctor was in stable condition today. Deputies initially said Faulk was charged with attempted murder, but she was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Detention Deputy John Levengood, 40, was at the hospital checking on a family member and heard the struggle and pulled Faulk off Juarbe and detained her until another deputy arrived, according to the report. Levengood, who works transporting inmates, has been with the sheriff's office since 1991. He was scheduled to be off work today and was unavailable to comment, sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. Faulk was arrested about 6:30 p.m. The attack has officials examining hospital security. "We are in the midst of analyzing our security measures and making decisions about what we need to do to move forward," Hall said. Hall said no more statements would be available today because the hospital wants to focus on taking care of employees and the injured doctor. Hall said more details will be available Thursday. Several hospital staff members this morning said they weren't on scene when the stabbing occurred. A person identifying himself as Juarbe's relative declined to comment today. Faulk had her first court appearance this morning. Judge Walter Heinrich told Faulk she was a danger to the community and ordered that she be held in jail without bail. Other area hospitals today said they work hard to keep their emergency rooms safe. Tampa General Hospital deals with safety in its emergency room by having a security office and security person there, TGH spokesman John Dunn said. At University Community Hospital and University Community Hospital-Carrollwood, an average of 70,000 or more emergency room patients combined have visited per year for the past several years. Hospital spokesman Will Darnall said that like any large business with the public constantly entering, safety must always be a concern. He said the hospitals always are looking to improve safety methods. University Community Hospital also has cameras on 24 hours a day in the emergency room, Darnall said. "Security is one of the hospital's biggest priorities," he said. "The hospital has constant security. We're in close proximity to sheriff's office substations, and they're always great to work with - when nighttime comes, especially. Here in North Tampa, they're always in the area and are able to come over in a moment's notice if we need them."
Reporter Laura Frazier can be reached at (813) 657-4523. Reporter Josh Poltilove can be reached at (813) 259-7691.