The Free Press, Mankato, MN

October 9, 2012

Security Hospital patient charged with assault

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

ST PETER — An inmate at the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter is scheduled to appear in court next month for allegedly assaulting and threatening hospital staff.

Prosecutors in Nicollet County filed felony charges recently against 25-year-old Tyrone Franklin Ward Jr. for an assault reported four months ago. Ward remains in custody at the hospital.

On June 4, two counselors at the hospital reported they were sitting at a desk when one of the counselors saw Ward running toward them. Ward allegedly started hitting one of the counselors on the back of the head while the other counselor told him to stop.

When more staff stepped in to help out, Ward eventually stopped beating the counselor but refused to be taken into custody, the criminal complaint said. Ward allegedly chased another counselor around the security wing before he was eventually convinced to go to his room.

The counselor who was assaulted was taken to the hospital in St. Peter to be treated for a mild concussion. He was unable to work for four days and remained on light duty for 10 additional days as a result of the injury, the Security Hospital staff reported.

A nurse at the Security Hospital also talked with Ward after the incident. She reported Ward said he planned to continue attacking staff and went into detail about weapons he planned to use to kill counselors.

“(Ward) further explained that he intended to wait until security counselors were vulnerable before attacking them,” the complaint said.

Ward is scheduled to make his first court appearance Nov. 13 for felony charges of fourth-degree assault of a correctional officer and making terroristic threats, and a misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault.

He has been in the Security Hospital since he was committed in 2007 after he was found to be mentally ill and dangerous.

Ward has been found guilty twice before for assaulting correctional employees, once in juvenile court in 2006 and once in adult court in 2007.