Nurses Awarded Settlement in Hospital Lawsuit After Being Held Hostage
Four nurses in Illinois filed a federal lawsuit after Tywon Salters, 21, an inmate getting treatment at Delnor hospital, took a handgun from a guard, held two nurses hostage, sexually assaulted one of them and eventually died at the hands of a SWAT team on May 13, 2017. The nurses received $7.9 million in a lawsuit settlement agreement with Kane County. The nurse who was taken hostage by the inmate is set to receive $650,000 and two other nurses will receive $25,000 each, according to court documents.
The nurses, identified in documents as Jane Doe I, II, III and IV to protect their privacy, sued Kane County, Deputy Shawn Loomis, Salters, and security contractor Apex 3 Security LLC after the incident. The Kane County Board ultimately voted on November 13 to pay a $200,000 contribution toward the settlement and the rest was covered by its insurance company.
The night of the incident, Salters was in a patient room when Loomis unshackled him, so he could use the toilet. When he was free, Salters overpowered Loomis and stole his .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. One of the nurses was sitting in her office when the inmate, wearing only a white cloth bandage across his torso at the time, locked the door and demanded she take off her clothes while pointing the weapon at her. He then took her clothing and keys.
Salters told another nurse to get into an elevator with him and bring him to the first floor. The inmate was planning to escape, but saw officers arriving on scene as he headed toward the doors. So, instead, Salters retreated into a decontamination room with the nurse, holding her hostage for several hours with a gun to her head. He hit her with the firearm, threatened to kill her, and raped her.
After firing a shot into the room, police officers made their move and came through the door. The standoff ended when a North Aurora SWAT officer shot and killed Salters, the bullet also striking the nurse in her arm. Loomis has been on paid administrative leave since the incident. The nurses alleged in their lawsuit that he hid in another hospital room and did not call for help after being attacked.
A criminal investigation into the events showed that Salters was the only individual to blame. The State Attorney’s Office issued the following statement, paving the way for a settlement: “The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, in its review of this incident, has determined that there is no evidence of any criminal actions on the part of any other officer or individual involved, other than the deceased, Tywon Salters, who cannot be prosecuted. The Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office considers its review of the matter for both use of force and for any potential criminal charges closed at this time.”
Since the incident, the sheriff’s office has taken additional precautions to ensure the safety of medical personnel, including assigning two officers to each inmate taken to the hospital. Because of its close proximity to the jail, many inmates obtain medical care at Delnor. This practice continues.
Days before Salters took nurses hostage, Kane County Corrections Sgt. Michael Huston circulated an email warning other police officers of Salters’ desperation to escape. It read, “Salters ate part of his shoe, was sent to the E.R. and is about to undergo surgery. Salters should be considered an extreme escape risk as he is desperate to not be in custody. He should be restrained with leg irons hooked up to the bed at all times.”