A man was taken into police custody after the attack on Saturday of a stretcher bearer at the Challans hospital (Vendée), Agence France-Presse learned on Tuesday April 9 from the Sables-d’Olonne public prosecutor’s office . The suspect, born in 2001, was arrested on Monday and is “currently being interviewed by the gendarmes on the facts”, according to the public prosecutor, Gwenaëlle Coto.

At the time of the events, the young man accompanied his father and his cousin to the hospital, with other relatives, according to the same source. Judging their wait to be too long, these people then became “agitated,” said Ms. Coto. One of them hit a stretcher bearer in the parking lot, seriously injuring him, before fleeing.

The victim was “a stretcher bearer who passed by”, left “on the ground, unconscious”, according to the president of SAMU-Ergences de France (SUdF), Marc Noizet. He was hospitalized in intensive care. His condition is now stabilized, according to the director of the Challans hospital center, Francis Saint-Hubert, who met him on Sunday evening.

Medical-psychological emergency cell

Following this attack, the emergency department of Challans hospital was closed “for several hours”, according to Mr. Noizet. In addition, security measures, including the presence of a security guard at the emergency entrance, have been taken.

A “strengthening of internal transport teams, which will also be equipped, as well as the emergency department, with a PTI (lone worker protection) system” is also envisaged, according to hospital management. A medical-psychological emergency unit continued its intervention in the establishment on Monday, according to the same source.

The Minister of Labor, Health and Solidarity, Catherine Vautrin, described this attack on Sunday as “intolerable”. “This act must be firmly condemned,” she wrote on a sanctuary. No violence against healthcare workers can be tolerated,” he said.

Mr. Noizet also expressed his “anger” that “caregivers could be the object of violence”. “We cannot be the variable of the anxiety, aggressiveness or violence of patients and those who accompany them,” he denounced. “I understand that we can be worried about a sick loved one, but these people must understand that we must work while being safe,” he insisted.