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An Oshkosh man is facing criminal charges for alleged battery to a nurse following an incident this summer at SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital.

Zachary Schwochert, 25, has been changed with battery to a nurse (a Class H felony) and disorderly conduct (a Class B misdemeanor).

Police were dispatched to Ripon Medical Center (now SSM Health Ripon Community Hospital) on June 20, according to a criminal complaint signed last week Tuesday by the Ripon Police Department.

When police arrived on the scene, they allegedly saw Schwochert being held down to the bed. When asked what was going on, he told police it was the “worst day of his life” and was agitated by an officer’s gun, the complaint said.

Law enforcement explained that they were not there to hurt him, but Schwochert “continued to resist EMS, nursing staff and police personnel,” according to court documents.

Throughout the encounter, he would “hysterically laugh” and repeatedly told police he wanted to die, the complaint said.

At one point, when Schwochert was being restrained, he tried to reach for an officer’s weapon and said, “I’m not fighting, just trying to shoot myself,” court documents state.

According to the criminal complaint, Schwochert hadn’t taken his medications in two days, and told police he was prescribed medication because “he hears voices and they tell him to eat people.”

Schwochert told police he used to be an officer at Oshkosh Correctional, but quit because he tried shooting himself, after the voices told him to, the criminal complaint noted.

The report also noted that he told officers that he’s been chaptered before on mental health holds, spending time in Appleton, Winnebago, Green Bay and was at Rogers for two years before getting out last year.

One of the nurses had been injured in an altercation with Schwochert before police arrived on scene.

The nurse told police that Schwochert came to the hospital from a car accident, and when she walked away to grab something, he had wrapped the call light cord around his neck and was beginning to turn blue, according to court documents.

She yelled for help and Ripon Guardian Ambulance personnel assisted in getting the cord off his neck, per the criminal complaint.

“After the doctor arrived in the room, they pulled everything out of the room and [the nurse] stated that she instructed everyone to get Zachary’s belt, shoe strings, etc from him,” the criminal complaint said.

When the nurse tried to remove his belt, Schwochert grabbed her, causing two fingers to bleed and scratching her arm.

If convicted, Schworchert faces up to six years and 90 days in prison, as well as $11,000 in fines.

Written By

Joe Schulz served as the reporter of the Green Laker in 2019 and 2020, before being hired as a reporter for the Commonwealth in October 2020. He is from Oshkosh and graduated from UW-Oshkosh in December with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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(1) comment

Kimi Sandleback

Shame on the Ripon Commonwealth press and Joe Schultz for printing the details of this man's mental health struggles.

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