New suspect arrested in attack on Ochsner ICU nurse: ‘I flashed’ | News
Three weeks after prosecutors denied a criminal charge against a man who was accused of knocking out an Ochsner intensive care unit nurse in an unprovoked attack, investigators from the Sheriff’s Office of the Jefferson Parish arrested his brother in connection with the case.
Lawrence Quinn, 43, of Marrero, was booked on March 28 for assault and battery by a healthcare worker, the same tally his brother, Quincy Quinn, 48, has previously faced.
Investigators are confident they now have the right suspect, based on cellphone records, photos and the identification of Quincy Quinn, Sheriff’s Office Detective Randall Collins said Tuesday during a preliminary hearing. in the case held in Jefferson Parish Magistrate Court.
Cellphone tracking places Lawrence Quinn on the West Bank campus of Ochsner Medical Center in unincorporated Gretna at the time of the Jan. 27 attack, which left the nurse with a fractured jaw and broken teeth, said Collins.
A day later, Lawrence Quinn texted his brother that said, “I flashed,” Collins testified. The text went on to ask the family to ignore Lawrence Quinn’s indiscretion and “come together in love.”
Death of parents
Lawrence Quinn’s attorney, C. Gary Wainwright, told the court that the Quinn family spent several days in the hospital while his client’s mother, Patricia Rankin, 67, and father, Lawrence Rankin, 74 years, were battling COVID-19.
Patricia Rankin died Jan. 25 and Lawrence Rankin died Jan. 27, the night of the attack, according to the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office.
“It was an incredibly passionate and moving event,” Wainwright said.
After Lawrence Rankin’s death, a female family member entered his hospital room, Collins testified.
“Everyone is pacing and looking restless,” he said, describing video of the encounter.
The nurse left her post and entered the room to usher the family member out, he said.
“She walks out. As he appears to be talking to the family, he knocked twice,” said Collins, who later added, “It was a surprise attack from what I can tell in the video.”
Through her questions, Wainwright seemed to suggest that the loved ones were being “forced out” of the hospital room. There is no video from the hospital room itself, Collins said.
But he testified that he had no information that the nurse had put her hands on the woman or that the nurse had done anything inappropriate other than performing her job.
In the moments following the attack, the person who hit the nurse left the hospital, accompanied by two women. Sheriff’s deputies were unable to obtain any information to identify the alleged attacker, authorities said.
Ochsner contributed a $12,500 reward for information that led to the arrest of a suspect in the case. The sheriff’s office also released an image of the attacker taken by the hospital’s surveillance cameras.
The sheriff’s office received multiple tips from Crimestoppers identifying Quincy Quinn, Collins said. An anonymous source has also come forward, prompting investigators to obtain a warrant for his arrest.
After his arrest, Quincy Quinn denied being in hospital when his father died, according to his lawyer, Eusi Phillips. Detectives from the sheriff’s office confirmed Quincy Quinn’s alibi by checking his cell phone, which showed he was at his apartment at the time, Collins said.
But Quincy Quinn told detectives his brother, Lawrence Quinn, was responsible, Collins said. Cellphone data showed Lawrence Quinn was in hospital at the time of the attack and left shortly after, Collins said.
On March 14, investigators served a warrant at Lawrence Quinn’s home in Marrero and found two firearms and a small amount of marijuana.
Lawrence Quinn is banned from possessing firearms after pleading guilty in 1999 to attempted second-degree murder and armed robbery in Orleans Parish, court records show. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in this case. No other details were immediately available.
While he was immediately arrested for drugs and a firearm, detectives only booked him with battery after searching his cell phone and finding photos of him wearing the Saints’ black and gold knit cap. New Orleans and the distinctive black and white checkered face mask the suspect wore in video recorded the night of the attack, according to Collins.
Criminal Magistrate Paul Schneider ruled there was probable cause to continue to detain Lawrence Quinn at Jefferson Parish Correctional Facility in Gretna in the case. Bail is $100,000.
Wainwright tried to argue for a bail reduction, calling the incident emotional and horrific.
“When people are in intensive care dying of COVID, often from the minute they are admitted to hospital until they die, they are not allowed to be comforted by family members,” did he declare. “My client’s mother died in that same ICU and then 72 hours later the father died in ICU.”
Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorney Allison Monahan objected to Lawrence Quinn’s bail drop, noting the convictions for attempted murder and armed robbery.
“We don’t want to run the risk of it ‘flashing out’ again,” she said.