Teen hurt in fight with ER security guard

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A teen says a hospital security guard assaulted him, giving him a concussion so severe he’s afraid to sleep — but police are painting a different picture of what happened.

“I just don’t want another kid to go and be in the same predicament as I am,” 16-year-old Agustin Velasquez told 24 Hour News 8. “Go to the hospital for treatment and come out with worse conditions.”

Agustin said he went to the Sparrow Ionia Hospital emergency room last Saturday with severe stomach pain. But Agustin and his mother were dissatisfied with the staff, so they decided to leave. They say that’s when things got ugly.

Agustin said a security guard walked up, put him in a choke hold and beat him so badly he sustained what doctors at another hospital diagnosed as a “somewhat severe” concussion.

16-year-old Agustin Velasquez says he was assaulted by a Sparrow Ionia Hospital security guard. (Courtesy photo)
(Courtesy photo)

“I just remember I leaned back and I started getting smashed into stuff,” Agustin described.

Ionia DPS said Agustin told them he was slammed into some landscaping bricks.

“All I could think was they’re going to hurt him, seriously hurt him or kill him, and it just made my stomach sick,” Agustin’s mother Lori Velasquez said. “I don’t want no one to hurt my kids, I try to protect them, I don’t want them to get hurt.”

The Ionia Department of Public Safety says Agustin gave officers different versions of what happened.

They say the security guard, who was also injured, claims he was struggling with Agustin when they both fell.

Investigators are waiting for surveillance video from the hospital that may show exactly what happened.

In the meantime, they are requesting misdemeanor charges for both the teen and the security officer, saying Agustin had been combative at the hospital.

Agustin denies that. When asked whether he disrespected any of the staff, Agustin said he “just told them I was going to a different hospital because I didn’t like the way they were putting me down.”

When asked whether he provoked any staff or the security guard in any way, Agustin said he did not.

His mother also said he was not at fault.

“No.  We were just walking out the door to go to another hospital,” Velasquez said.

And she said she’s not in denial because she is his mother.

“I’m not.  My 14-year-old daughter was even there and she seen it all and heard it all,” she said.

The hospital sent 24 Hour News 8 this statement:

“Our preliminary investigation indicates that the situation was correctly handled by our security guard and ER staff. However, details of the case remain confidential as part of an ongoing police investigation.”

Ionia DPS Director Troy Thomas says his department has dealt with Agustin dozens of times before — 46 times, in fact, and he is listed as a suspect in 33 of those instances. And, Thomas says, other agencies also have incidents in which Agustin is listed as a suspect.

The city attorney will decide who, if anyone, will be charged.

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