Grant Medical Center Suspends Security Guards After Video Reveals Violent Altercation
On Monday night, Mellena Jackson, together with her father and young son, was visiting her grandfather at Grant Medical Center in downtown Columbus. As Jackson sat parked outside, she happened to see a black man exiting the hospital followed by three guards.
"He said, 'Leave me alone, what do you want?'" Jackson recalls. "And that's when I started recording."
The AP identified the man as Shelton Adams, 38.
Jackson's video, which she posted later to Facebook, begins with the man facing the three guards outside the hospital entrance. Shot from inside a car, viewers cannot hear what's being said, but it appeared to be a verbal confrontation.
Adams takes a step toward the guards, but one of the guards pushes him backwards. Adams flicks his cigarette at the guards, who then shoot what appears to be pepper spray in Adams' face and hit him with a baton.
The guard then throws the mace can at Adams, and the three men tackle Adams to the ground.
In the video, Jackson gasps in horror.
The three guards tackle Adams to the ground and the minute-long video ends. According to the AP, Adams was jailed on a disorderly conduct charge and pleaded not guilty.
In a police report, the security guards stated that Adams was told to leave the hospital after an incident in the cafeteria. They say that after they told him to leave the hospital, Adams became violent and swung his fist at the guards, who maced him and took him to the ground.
Jackson says she thought the guards' actions seemed irrational.
"He went outside to smoke a cigarette," Jackson argues. "And they came out, like, harassing him because he was walking away. It wasn't like he was yelling at them, or saying anything. He wasn't being disrespectful."
In a statement released Tuesday, Grant Medical Center says the three security guards involved have been placed on "fact-finding suspension" until an investigation is complete. The hospital said they are taking the incident very seriously.
Jackson, who is black, says she was deeply troubled by the encounter. The hardest part, she says, was explaining what happened to her young son.
"He was like, 'Why are they hurting him when they're suppose to help people?'" Jackson says. "He woke up this morning asking if the guy was OK and I was like, 'I'm not sure, baby.'"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.