PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A recent report of an assault on the grounds of Pioneer Memorial Hospital has proven to be unfounded, police said Wednesday, and a misdemeanor charge is being considered against the staff member who filed it and, as it turned out, injured herself.
Police had been investigating a report of an assault on Jan, 11 at around 11:40 p.m. by the as-yet unidentified hospital staff member. Officers said at the time she was treated at the hospital for a minor injury and released.
Police had released a description of a suspect: a white male with short black hair, about 5-foot-10 with a thin build, wearing dark clothing, as they asked for anyone with information to contact them.
But as it turned out, the subsequent investigation found that the assault did not happen, said police Capt. Michael Boyd.
"Investigators discovered evidence in the case that contradicted the reporting party's version of events," Boyd wrote in a news release.
Further interviews led to an admission by the staff member, a 53-year-old Crook County resident, that she had fabricated the story and injured herself, the police captain said.
The case was referred to Crook County District Attorney Daina Vitolins' office for possible prosecution for initiating a false report, which Boyd said is a Class A misdemeanor.
A St. Charles Health System spokeswoman said the caregiver is on administrative leave, pending further investigation.
"The Prineville Police Department takes all reports of criminal activity, especially a report in which a citizen is physically harmed, very seriously," Boyd wrote.
"Considerable investigating resources were used in this case by both the Prineville Police Department and the Crook County Sheriff's Office," he added.