Twin Cities Man Charged With Turning Off Hospital’s Oxygen Tank
Robbinsdale, MN (KROC AM News) - A man who says he was upset with a Twin Cities hospital has been charged with tampering with its oxygen supply system and jeopardizing the lives of its patients.
Arraigned Thursday on a felony damage to property charge was 39-year-old Larry Raduenz of Robbinsdale.
The incident happened at North Memorial Hospital on Dec. 27. According to the criminal complaint, Raduenz can be seen walking towards the fenced-off area where the hospital tanks are located. He is then seen standing behind one of the main oxygen tanks. After a few minutes, Raduenz moves out of the camera’s view.
A hospital engineer was informed minutes later that oxygen pressure was rapidly decreasing. The engineer checked the tank and discovered the valves had been forced open and that zip ties and stainless-steel latches securing them had been tampered with and broken.
The engineer says it was fortunate the problem was taken care of right away because the sudden loss of oxygen “could have caused injury or death to multiple patients.”
Raduenz was apprehended at a shelter in St. Paul this week. He told investigators that he was upset with the hospital and admitted that he may have been the one who interfered with the oxygen tanks.
“It is shocking that an individual would take a step like this to endanger the lives and wellbeing of innocent and hospitalized people,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said. “Our office is currently investigating this case and we will pursue other charges if evidence supports us doing so.”
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