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Threatening call sends hospital, clinic into “lockdown”

Posted 10/05/11 (Wed)

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 8:20 a.m. Rory Gravos, 34, of Alexander N.D., made a threatening call to the McKenzie County Hospital, resulting in both the hospital and clinic being secured and locked down for approximately 45 minutes.
The police report states that the hospital charge nurse allegedly received a threatening phone call from Gravos, stating that he intended to come to the hospital and commit a crime of violence or act dangerously to human life, using a firearm.
That charge nurse immediately called the Watford City Police Dept., where she was told to follow the hospital’s procedures for lockdown.
It was then that Cheryl Faulkner, director of Nursing for McKenzie County Hospital, became aware of the situation.
“We immediately let law enforcement know what was going on, as is our policy to do so,” Faulkner stated.
While it is unfortunate that the hospital has to have a procedure in place for incidents such as this, according to Dan Kelly, McKenzie County Hospital CEO, it is a must.
“The healthcare system has a safety committee that develops policies and procedures to address all forms of emergencies from a tornado to a violent or combative patient,” Kelly reports. “I am extremely proud of the healthcare system staff. We take the safety of our employees and patients seriously.”
Faulkner also states that the decision was made to place the clinic in lockdown as well.
“We felt that if he couldn’t do what he wanted to do at the hospital, he would go to the clinic,” Faulkner revealed.
Both Faulkner and Kelly commend the quick and decisive action of the Watford City Police Department for resolving this incident quickly.
According to Slade Herfindahl, Watford City Police chief, Gravos was arrested at his residence in Alexander without resistance, by the Watford City Police Department with the assistance of the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Department.
Gravos was arrested for the criminal offense of Terrorizing, which is a Class C Felony, and carries with it a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.
Gravos’ bond was set at $2,500 cash or corporate surety and he was released from custody later that day.