Officers were called to the area of Newton Medical Center after an intoxicated patient reportedly fled the hospital with an IV in his arm.
As officers approached the hospital they saw the man, later identified as John Welsh, walking down U.S. Highway 278. When officers approached him and asked why he left the hospital, Welsh reportedly told them it was his right to leave if he wanted to. Officers then placed him under arrest so he could be taken back to the hospital to have the IV removed from his arm.
When they arrived at the hospital, two officers had to assist Welsh, who was reportedly stumbling and unable to walk on his own. Reports indicate he also reeked of alcohol. Welsh was "extremely boisterous" and kept telling officers they had no right to bring him back to the hospital and that he just wanted to go home.
When the IV was removed from his arm, the officers took Welsh to the Newton County Detention Center. When they arrived they spoke with another officer who said he had an experience with Welsh earlier that evening at a gas station on Alcovy Road. According to that officer, Welsh had told him he was staying at a hotel on Alcovy Road and that he and a friend had been to Hooters and he'd had "seven or eight beers." The officer also said Welsh had been complaining of a bad headache and didn't know where he was, which is why EMS was called and how Welsh ended up in the hospital in the first place that night.
Officers went to the patrol car to get Welsh and found he had passed out in the backseat. Two officers had to pull him from the vehicle and carry him into the jail, at which point he came to and asked where he was. When told he was at the jail Welsh allegedly told the officer he was supposed to be in the hospital receiving treatment and that the officer told him he wasn't going to be arrested.
Once inside a holding cell, Welsh became extremely agitated and began cursing at the officers, refusing to follow their directions as they attempted to search him, according to reports. When he was told to calm down he did just the opposite, instead he tensed up his arms and started hitting the officers with his head and trying to push them with his shoulders. Welsh was eventually placed in the restraint chair so he could calm down without hurting himself or others.