Man charged after employee injured in hammer and knife attack at Victoria Hospital in London, Ont.

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Victoria Hospital, the largest hospital in the region, was the site of an attack by a man that left an employee wounded.  (Colin Butler/CBC - image credit)
Victoria Hospital, the largest hospital in the region, was the site of an attack by a man that left an employee wounded. (Colin Butler/CBC - image credit)

A Victoria Hospital employee was injured when a man armed with a hammer and a knife got past the security desk at the London, Ont., hospital and began attacking people, police say.

A 35-year-old arrested shortly after the incident Thursday has been charged with breaching previous court conditions and aggravated assault, the London Police Service (LPS) said in a news release Friday.

"Everyone deserves to feel safe when they come to work and (London Health Sciences Centre) is taking this situation very seriously," a hospital spokesperson said in a statement. "At this time, we are focusing on the wellness of our staff and physicians, recognizing the impact this incident may have on them."

The incident began at about 1:50 p.m. ET, when someone saw a man go into the hospital carrying a hammer and a knife and reported him to hospital security, the police release said. He was seen bypassing a checkpoint at the front desk and approach a male employee.

The LPS said the employee was struck with a hammer and then injured with the knife. His injuries are considered serious but not life-threatening.

No patients injured

The employee ran away from the man, and hospital security arrested him and turned him over to London police.

No patients were injured. The employee and suspect did not know each other, according to officials.

They said they can't reveal what the injured worker did at the hospital because of privacy rules.

"I know we are all interested in the health, well-being and speedy recovery of our colleague. Please remember our obligation to protect the privacy of our patients and staff," Dr. Adam Dukelow, chief of emergency medicine, wrote to hospital employees in an email.

"It is important that we all feel safe within our walls and I recognize that this event is potentially traumatic for many of you. Our Wellness Team and leadership are providing support directly to the impacted areas."

The 35-year-old man remains in police custody and was set to appear in court Friday.

The LPS release is asking anyone with information related to the incident to call police at 519-661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1800-222-TIPS (8477).

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