Traveling nurse arrested 3 times in 2 days in Grass Valley, Nevada City
A Pennsylvania man working as a contracted nurse for the local hospital racked up multiple calls for service in Grass Valley and Nevada City this week, including three arrests — one of them for robbery — that eventually netted him a $250,000 bond Wednesday, officials said.
Nicholas Alexander Firestone, 34, remained in custody Thursday afternoon, jail records state.
Grass Valley police officers had contacted Firestone around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday in the 1000 block of East Main Street, said Sgt. Clint Bates. Firestone had been refused a room at a motel there and he was asking to be arrested or given a room for free, Bates said, adding the situation was mediated.
Officers then responded to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital just before 9 a.m. Tuesday for a report that a traveling nurse — who Bates identified as Firestone — had improperly given medication without a doctor’s orders, and was agitated and possibly under the influence of a controlled substance, dispatch reports stated. Officers could not locate the person, who had left on foot.
A Dignity Health spokesman confirmed Firestone’s employment, but stressed he did not improperly administer medication to any patient.
“Dignity Health’s top priority is the care and safety of our patients,” spokesman William Hodges said in an email. “We are aware of an incident that occurred at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital earlier this week involving a traveler nurse, and we are actively investigating the situation both internally and in cooperation with the Grass Valley Police Department. We can confirm that this individual did not improperly administer medication to any patient at our hospital, and upon learning of the incident, we immediately terminated his contracted position.”
Just before 2 p.m. Tuesday, Grass Valley police officers were called to a business on Ridge Road near Sierra College Drive for a report of a man in a locker room, behaving strangely, dispatch reports stated.
The man was showing signs of “unusual behavior” and the officers recognized him from the earlier calls for service, Bates said.
Firestone was found in possession of property, including a wallet and an ID card, that was determined to belong to members of the business, Bates said. Officers later located a small personal amount of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia on Firestone, he added.
Firestone was taken into custody on charges of possessing a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, possessing stolen property, petty theft and loitering. He was booked and released on a $9,000 bond later that day, jail records state.
At 4:28 am. Wednesday, Firestone was reported to be acting strangely at the Nevada City Post Office, dispatch reports stated.
“He was prowling around the back door, trying to go inside,” said Nevada City Police Lt. Paul Rohde.
Firestone was arrested on suspicion of loitering, booked and released on a $1,500 bond, jail records state.
Firestone didn’t stay out of custody for long, however.
Just before 1 p.m. Wednesday, Grass Valley police officers responded to a business in the 2000 block of Nevada City Highway for a report of a robbery by an irate customer, dispatch reports stated.
“He stole a cell phone from the store,” Bates said. “The employees felt fearful of their safety. They made no attempt to stop him.”
Officers located Firestone a short time later but he was uncooperative and became combative, Bates said. Firestone continued to resist after he was taken into custody and was “hobbled,” Bates said, using a WRAP device, with a vest around the torso and wraps around the legs, that restrains an arrested person in a seated position.
Firestone was arrested on a felony charge of robbery by force or fear, jail records state.
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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