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Scales of justice

A man was charged Monday in a recent incident at Billings Clinic during which he reached for surgical tools and acted threateningly toward staff, charges state.

Michael Lynn Whiteman, 44, appeared Monday in Yellowstone County Justice Court on a single felony count of attempted assault with a weapon.

Whiteman was at the hospital Friday receiving treatment when he attempted to grab surgical tools from a sink where they were soaking in a chemical solution, charges state.

A nurse was able to intervene and grab Whiteman's wrists, taking him to the ground after he reached for the surgical tools, a witness said.

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During the 2017 session of the Montana Legislature, nurses and first responders had asked lawmakers to make it a felony to assault health care workers, citing a history of attacks on them by patients. The bill died in committee.

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Justice Reporter

Justice reporter for the Billings Gazette.