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Mary Elizabeth Hansen

Mary Elizabeth Hansen appears in Missoula County Justice Court by video on Friday.

A 34-year-old Missoula woman who allegedly became belligerent and demanded drugs after she attempted to check herself into a hospital on Christmas Day was jailed for assaulting a nurse and kicking a police officer.

Mary Elizabeth Hansen is charged with felony assault on a peace officer and three misdemeanors. She made an initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Friday, where Judge Karen Orzech ordered her held on the $5,000 bail recommended by prosecutors. A preliminary hearing was set for Jan. 12.

Hansen tried to check into the emergency room at St. Patrick Hospital shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. She became agitated at the wait for admission caused by a large patient load, an affidavit from the Missoula County Attorney's Office said.

By the time a nurse assumed care of her, Hansen had “become belligerent and began demanding drugs,” the charging papers said. She then “flipped out” and whipped the nurse in the face with a towel. Security called 9-1-1 and responding police arrived to find Hansen “yellling frantically in the foyer with a few security members.”

She continued her tirade, striking a window and demanding drugs as hospital staff began preparing discharge papers. When the two Missoula police officers attempted to arrest Hansen she pulled away in loud protest and sank to the floor, the affidavit said. She refused to place her hands behind her back and kicked Officer Caitlyn Sargent several times in the legs, causing pain.

Hansen was finally controlled and told officers during the drive to Missoula County jail that “the doctor was taking too long to see her and that she did not do anything wrong,” the charging papers said. They added that when she was told why she was being arrested Hansen responded, “Would you not kick people if they were attacking you?”

At the jail Hansen allegedly called Sargent an obscene name and said, “I hope you die in the line of duty."

Besides the felony charge for kicking Sargent, Hansen was jailed on misdemeanors of assault for snapping the nurse in the face with a towel; disorderly conduct for screaming in the hospital lobby and yelling at staff, security and law enforcement officers; and for resisting arrest.

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Mineral County, veterans issues

Outlying communities, transportation, history and general assignment reporter at the Missoulian