Indian American Doctor Accused of Trying to Strangle Nurse
Indian American doctor Venkatesh Sasthakonar allegedly tried to strangle a nurse with an elastic cord at Nassau University Medical Center.
An Indian American doctor from Albertson, Long Island, was arrested and charged with second-degree strangulation and third-degree assault for attempting to strangle a nurse with an elastic cord at Nassau University Medical Center on Jan. 22. He was later released on bail.
Venkatesh Sasthakonar, 44, is said to have had a disagreement with the 51-year-old nurse after which he approached her from behind and allegedly wrapped an elastic cord from his sweatshirt around her neck, CBS New York reported, citing the Nassau County police. The complaint against him says that the doctor became upset after the nurse administered medication to a patient at an incorrect time. Sasthakonar had said, “I should kill you for this.”
Sasthakonar left the hospital shortly after. However, upon his return, he was taken into custody without incident. The nurse was treated for neck pain. Sasthakonar was released on bail on Jan. 23 with $3,900 in cash.
Sasthakonar’s attorney Melvin Roth, however, says the charges against him are “overblown.” He told the publication: “She was not injured in any way, she didn’t lose consciousness, he didn’t attempt to choke her at all. He knows this nurse for 10 years, they’ve worked together, they’re friends. He denies that he even touched her skin with the drawstring that is listed in the complaint. He didn’t attempt to choke her at all, any statement he made about ‘I’ll kill you’ was said in jest.”
Sasthakonar has been a doctor at Nassau University Medical Center for about 10 years, according to theThe hospital’s website. He specializes in bariatric surgery for obese patients.
The hospital released a statement, which said: “Following the alleged incident that occurred on January 22, 2018, the hospital cooperated with the Nassau County Police Department. At no time was patient safety affected. The doctor has been suspended until further notice.”
Sasthakonar is due to appear in court on Feb. 26.