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Argument over drugs leads to fight between doctor and patient

A disagreement between patient and doctor led to a physical struggle in the parking lot of Dr. Mary Baldwin's office Sept. 22.

Oct. 10, 2017 – A patient and a doctor got in a scrap in the doctor's parking lot Friday, Sept. 22, and it ended with police arresting Cecilia Thomas, 53, of a Chattanooga address, and charging her with assault, aggravated assault, and vandalism.

According to Dunlap Police Chief Clint Huth, officers were called to the office of Dr. Mary Baldwin on Rankin Avenue at about 3:50 p.m.

A lady went to Dr. Baldwin's office wanting to get some medication,” Chief Huth said Tuesday. “Dr. Baldwin would not prescribe the medication, and a little fight took place.”

Thomas had been to Baldwin's office before, Huth said, and when she asked for a prescription for pain medications this time, it aroused the doctor's suspicions that she might be “doctor-shopping” for drugs.

She came in demanding that Dr. Baldwin prescribe her some pain medication, and the doctor refused,” Huth said. “She became upset and grabbed her medical chart. She ran out into the parking lot with it. It progressed into a physical altercation. One of the nurses came out and tried to help, to calm everything down. Then a couple of other citizens across the street came over to help.

Dr. Baldwin got the medical chart back. The lady got in her vehicle and took off, coming close to hitting the people that were there trying to break up the fight.”

A police officer recognized the white 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup from the description of the suspect's vehicle and stopped her on Walnut Street.

Thomas was charged with assault for fighting with Dr. Baldwin, aggravated assault for nearly running down people with her truck, and vandalism for tearing up her medical chart.

Judge Keith Davis set bond for Thomas at $15,000, and she is presently in the Sequatchie County Jail awaiting an Oct. 26 court date in Dunlap City Court.

No one was injured in the incident, and Dr. Baldwin was not charged.