Friday, February 08, 2008
PORT ST. LUCIE — — A pain-management doctor pulled a gun on a former patient Tuesday after the man reportedly caused a disturbance in the office waiting room and hit the doctor with his cane, police said.
David Hungerford, 51, of Vero Beach was charged with aggravated battery and breach of peace after he reportedly refused to leave the office of Dr. David M. Glener and began yelling that he was billed for services he didn't receive, reports state.
Glener told police Hungerford ripped his shirt and struck him with a walking cane, prompting the doctor to retrieve his 9mm Glock handgun and point it upward while telling Hungerford he would use necessary force to defend himself.
Hungerford took a video of Glener and promised to post it on the YouTube Web site, reports say. The video, posted on YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
, shows Hungerford in his bedroom speaking for 20 minutes and blasting Glener and other Treasure Coast doctors for refusing to treat him because of an extensive cocktail of painkillers he reportedly was prescribed by an earlier doctor.
Glener's receptionist, Sokum Avila, told police Hungerford entered the office at 1599 S.E. Lennard Road Tuesday afternoon complaining the doctor was harassing him for an unpaid bill dating to July. Hungerford also demanded to see the doctor and said Glener's refusal to prescribe him medications was "inhumane," Avila said.
Employees asked Hungerford repeatedly to leave, witnesses said. When Glener heard the commotion he went to the waiting room and was grabbed and scratched by Hungerford, who also struck the doctor with his walking cane, reports state. Glener said he injured his right shoulder trying to deflect the attack and went into another room to retrieve his 9mm Glock handgun.
He stood in the doorway with the gun pointed upward and Hungerford left, Glener said. The doctor later told police he had torn his right rotator cuff and would undergo surgery Thursday to repair it.
Reached at his home, Hungerford denied striking the doctor and said he wants to pursue charges against Glener. He claimed an office worker grabbed him and prevented him from leaving the office.
In the video, Hungerford said he's "not very good with confrontations" so he "invested in about three beers" before going to Glener's office to confront him about collection agency notices for an overdue $25 co-pay bill.
The self-employed computer consultant said he's been on a heavy dose of painkillers since his third back surgery 21/2 years ago and said he switched doctors because it was costing too much to drive to Boynton Beach for care. Glener told police he declined to treat Hungerford because he "refused intervention pain procedures" and was "only interested in receiving controlled substances."
Police said Glener has a valid concealed-weapons permit and arrested Hungerford on two criminal charges Wednesday. He was released from the St. Lucie County jail Thursday on $20,250 bond.