Investigation into who placed hoax call claiming armed woman with hostages at Medina Hospital

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MEDINA, Ohio -- A telephone call to police reporting an armed woman with hostages forced patients and staff into lockdown inside Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital Tuesday afternoon.

Dozens of police officers rushed to the scene, only to later discover, the call was a hoax.

Nearly 150 law enforcement officers including Medina police, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and Cleveland Clinic police converged on the hospital after the caller reported the incident was inside the South Medical Building on campus.

"I woke up to the end of the colonoscopy and they had the door barricaded, other personnel was bundling up in X-ray tarps and so forth for protection and everybody kind of grabbed something to use as a weapon and ran out," said patient Sarah Griffin.

Griffin was undergoing a procedure when a Code Silver alert went out, and the hospital was placed on lockdown. FOX 8 viewers sent in photos showing hallways and hospital room doors barricaded with pieces of furniture.

Courtesy: FOX 8 viewer

"I just was still under anesthesia, but wanted to get out of bed and go with them, so they put me in the middle of all of them and we shuffled our way right over into this building," Griffin said.

"We searched the hospital room by room, floor by floor and determined that there was no suspect that was armed; we did not locate that and we believe it was a false complaint," said Medina Police Chief Edward Kinney.

Police gave the all clear at around 3:30 p.m., about two hours after receiving the call.

"When something like this happens, we have a procedure that is in place, which means when we secure the premises; we lock down the hospital and we, in particular, take care of the patients who need our services the most," said Cleveland Clinic CEO Tomislav Mihaljevic.

"One of the first things we did once we entered into the building, we deployed officers into the critical areas, the ER, any type of surgery, the ICU, so we had officers staged there so that they could maintain their operations," said Chief Kinney.

Hospital officials say no patients were injured and all continued to receive care.

"Why do this to people, you know? We had people in surgery, you know what I mean; that's uncalled for," said hospital employee Rhonda Patterson.

Medina police say the call, believed to be made by a male, according to a press release, did not come from inside the hospital, but they continue to investigate where it originated and who made it.

In a press release Tuesday night, Medina police also said the caller will face arrest and prosecution.

Read the entire police press release, here.


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