Fifteen Prince George's detectives and uniformed police officers paid a surprise visit to Prince George's General Hospital yesterday and carted off about 200 boxes of papers and reports for their investigation of suspicious deaths at the hospital, according to a police spokesman.
Last March, police arrested a nurse at the hospital, Jane Bolding, and charged her with slaying a patient, Elinor S. Dickerson, 70, with a lethal injection of potassium. The charges against Bolding were dropped earlier this month for lack of evidence, but police are continuing to investigate the case.
Police spent about five hours at the hospital, according to Maj. James Ross, head of county police criminal investigations. Ross said police realized earlier this week that they had not received all lab reports on 22 patients that had been requested in April.
Hospital officials were outraged at the police action.
"They came in, they refused to show me a badge or search warrant," said Dr. Ivan Mattei, who runs the lab and said he watched the officers carry away two drawers from his desk. "They told me to get out of my office."
Hospital attorney Wayne Curry said he was shown a search warrant issued yesterday, but that the officers took computer billing printouts, instructional manuals and other items that had nothing to do with Bolding or patients she may have treated. "This is the most absurd and incompetent example of prosecutorial excess I've ever seen," Curry said.
Ross insisted that police will return those items they find they do not need for their investigation.