It took two hours of jury deliberations Friday to convict the Miami cop who believed he had the right to storm into a hospital and make medical demands on a nurse under threat of arrest and abuse.
Lester Bohnenblust was convicted of battery on a person over the age of 65 and false imprisonment, according to the Miami Herald. He has not yet been sentenced but each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years.
His goal that day was to force hospital nurse James Nicholson to readmit his niece for a mental evaluation after she had been discharged the previous day. But Nicholson, 67, who has more than three decades of professional experience, determined there was no need to readmit her.
That was when the 51-year-old cop attacked the head nurse.
While Blue Privilege can have a powerful influence on jurors, testimony from Nicholson was very convincing as you can see in this Miami Herald video.
“He pushed me, he tripped me and I came in contact with the floor,” said the visibly angry retired nurse who said never in his 30-year career had he experienced anything like he did that day on March 23, 2018.
“I describe it as being slammed to the floor. That’s what it felt like for me.”
The incident was captured on surveillance video which has not yet been released but was enough to file felony charges against Bohnenblust in December 2018. He was fired in April 2019.
According to police reports, the video shows Bohnenblust grabbing Nicholson from the back of his jacket, prompting the nurse to pull back and tell him, “Get your fucking hands off me!”
But that just led to the cop slamming him to the floor and detaining him on charges of resisting arrest and cursing at the cop, the latter which is protected by the First Amendment, the former which should require an underlying charge to resist, but is used all the time in Florida as a sole charge in cases of contempt of cop.
Bohneblust then snatched Nicholson’s hospital ID and made him face a wall. Four more Miami cops arrived and handcuffed him. He was only released after giving a statement to internal affairs, which is interesting considering they usually come in much later.
He was never jailed or formally charged but Bohneblust’s attorney kept arguing in court that her client had the right to abuse Nicholson because he was guilty of the charges he was never formally charged with, which goes to show just how weak was his defense.