Patient accused of attacking St. Francis Memorial Hospital nurse 

click to enlarge Aleksey Petrov is accused of punching a nurse twice, resulting in a broken eye socket, at St. Francis Memorial Church.
  • Aleksey Petrov is accused of punching a nurse twice, resulting in a broken eye socket, at St. Francis Memorial Church.

A vicious drunk who was being treated at St. Francis Memorial Hospital for intoxication Friday was arrested after allegedly breaking a nurse’s eye socket.

Aleksey Petrov, 51, of San Francisco, is accused of punching the 57-year-old woman, who was treating him at the Nob Hill hospital, at least twice about 8:50 p.m. When staffers heard the commotion, they rushed to the nurse’s aid and called police. Meanwhile, Petrov fled the hospital — but he wouldn’t get far.

While officers were interviewing hospital employees, they received a call about a man causing a disturbance in the 900 block of Hyde Street, near the front entrance of the hospital. It was Petrov, who police said was arrested and booked on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated assault causing severe injury and an enhancement for attacking hospital staff.

The nurse’s injuries were not life-threatening, police Officer Albie Esparza said Monday, but he added that assaults on hospital workers cannot be tolerated.

“They’re trying to help people, and then they’re victimized,” Esparza said. “It’s disturbing.”

Due to privacy laws, St. Francis officials could not discuss specifics of the attack. But the incident has prompted a review of the hospital’s security protocols, spokeswoman Dee Mostofi said.

Safety is a top priority, Mostofi added, and the review will “make sure we have every precaution in place to protect our staff.”

Many nurses, not necessarily only those working at St. Francis, say security should be heightened at California hospitals.

“We do believe there has been a problem with workplace violence in California hospitals,” said Chuck Idelson, spokesman with the California Nurses Association. “We have advocated in the past for improved protocols by hospitals.”

Idelson said hospitals should be responsible for ensuring a safe work environment.

However, nurses also are decrying the “real cuts” that have been made to mental health services in the state, saying they have led to an increase in violent incidents at hospitals.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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