Man arraigned for attack in St. E’s emergency room

By Joe Gorman


A Warren man was arraigned Monday in municipal court on a felony and several misdemeanor charges after reports said he sprayed a fire extinguisher in the face of a Mercy Health police officer Saturday at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital and caused the emergency room to be evacuated.

Nicholas Kovell, 35, was arraigned before Judge Elizabeth Kobly on a felony charge of inducing panic and misdemeanor counts of assault, resisting arrest and criminal damaging. The judge set his bond at $12,500.

Court records show Kovell was arrested July 4, 2014, on similar charges at the hospital and he was sentenced to a year in prison Jan. 13, 2015. He was sentenced in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court after pleading guilty to two counts of felony assault and a count of assault on a police officer.

Reports said a Mercy Health police officer was in the emergency room just after 2 p.m. Saturday when he heard screaming from inside.

The officer investigated and found smoke coming out of the door of a nearby room and a nurse trying to pull Kovell out of the room, reports said.

Reports said the officer grabbed the nurse and Kovell and pulled them out of the room. The officer grabbed a fire extinguisher and began spraying toward the smoke. Kovell somehow managed to grab the nozzle and the foam squirted into the officer’s face, reports said.

The two went to the floor and Kovell began hitting the officer in the head, reports said. The officer fought back until help arrived, and they were able to get Kovell handcuffed.

The officer was examined because of the chemicals he breathed in from the foam in his face. The emergency room had to be evacuated because of the foam, reports said. Reports said at the time of the scuffle, there were 22 people in the emergency room.

Firefighters were called, but they could find no evidence that there had been a fire.