Nurse Stabbed in Neck by Former Patient at Pa. Hospital

The assailant snuck into a secured area behind a housekeeping staff member and stabbed the victim in the back of the neck.

Nurse Stabbed in Neck by Former Patient at Pa. Hospital

As of Saturday, the nurse was listed in stable condition.

A nurse at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg in Bethlehem was stabbed in the neck Friday night by a former patient who snuck into a secured area.

The alleged assailant, 19-year-old Joshua Rafael Santos, has been charged with attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault and one count of simple assault. He was arraigned Saturday morning and bail was set at $100,000.

A nurse who witnessed the attack recognized Santos as a former patient that both she and the victim had treated in early June, although the motive is still unknown.

Security cameras caught the entire incident on tape, initially showing Santos waiting in the common area of the emergency room. He made his way into a secured area of the emergency room by sneaking in behind a housekeeping staff member.

“Piggybacking” or “tailgating”, the act of an unauthorized person following an authorized person into a restricted area, is a recurring problem for campuses with secured areas.

A nurse approached Santos, asking if he needed help, reports WFMZ. After he replied “No”, he walked in the other direction towards another nurse, Leo Bermudez, stabbing him in the back of the neck with a 5-inch kitchen knife.

Doctor Jason Morgan immediately administered life-stabilizing treatment as the victim was bleeding profusely from his wound. He was later flown to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest where he underwent emergency surgery.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network tweeted on Saturday, stating that the attack was an isolated incident and the victim was listed in stable condition.

According to court records, Santos likely hit the nurse’s jugular, which could have been fatal had he not received immediate treatment from Morgan.

Police Chief Mark DiLuzio said Santos fled the hospital but was apprehended 10 minutes later near Martin Tower on Eight Avenue where the alleged weapon was seized.

Santos has a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 10, reports ABC 6, and will be represented by a public defender.


About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Senior Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

In her free time, Amy enjoys exploring the outdoors with her family.

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