An inmate who attacked a nurse at the county jail in Martinez on Monday allegedly faked a seizure just before the attack, Contra Costa County sheriff’s spokesman Jimmy Lee said. The incident began at about 4 p.m. when medical personnel were called to the intake area of the jail, located at 1000 Ward St., for an inmate named Aaron Nygaard who was reportedly having a seizure. Medical staff responded and attended to Nygaard, a 34-year-old El Cerrito resident, who told a nurse that he had faked the seizure because he did not want to be in a particular waiting room at intake, Lee said. Then, without provocation or warning, Nygaard allegedly picked up a lamp and struck the nurse in the head with it, Lee said. Nygaard then swung the lamp at deputies, Lee said. The deputies
shot him with a Taser, but Nygaard allegedly continued to violently resist, according to Lee. The deputies were eventually able to restrain him. The nurse, a longtime employee with Contra Costa Health Services, which contracts with the sheriff’s office to provide medical services at the jail, was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. Information about her condition was not available this morning, Lee said. Anna Roth, chief executive officer of Contra Costa Health Services, said in a prepared statement that “We are deeply concerned about her and our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.” Nygaard was initially booked into county jail by El Cerrito police on suspicion of burglary, Lee said. According to court records, he has no criminal history in Contra Costa County. He was taken to Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez. In addition to the burglary allegation, Nygaard is now also being held on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The attack came just days after an employee was murdered at Napa State Hospital, allegedly by a patient. That employee, Concord resident Donna Gross, 54, was found dead at
about 7 p.m. Friday in an enclosed courtyard at the hospital. Gross was a psychiatric technician and had worked at the hospital for 14 years. Investigators have arrested patient Jess Willard Massey, 37, in connection with the killing. He is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.
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