vaccines

Charges Filed Against Man Accused of Punching Staff and Groping Nurse at COVID Vaccine Clinic

Charges of misdemeanor battery and resisting arrested were filed against a 44-year-old Poway man who allegedly groped a nurse treating him at a Tustin vaccination clinic.

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Charges have been filed against a man who allegedly punched two medical assistants at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Southern California and groped a nurse providing him medical care, prosecutors said.

Charges of misdemeanor battery and resisting arrested were filed against Thomas Apollo, 44, of Poway, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Tuesday.

Apollo faces arraignment on March 30. No attorney was listed for him on the court’s website.

According to prosecutors, Apollo was asked to leave the Families Together clinic in Tustin on Dec. 30 after he refused to wear a mask. He allegedly called the clinic workers “murderers” and directed expletives at workers who asked him to put on a mask or go outside.

“Instead of being treated with the same compassion and respect in which they treat their patients, these health care workers were punched in the face and physically assaulted for just trying to do their jobs,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the release. “Violence of any kind will not be tolerated and we will hold this individual accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

Prosecutors said Apollo punched one assistant five times, hit another twice and then was pinned down by bystanders until police arrived. The scuffle was captured on security camera video.

He allegedly refused to follow commands from police, who used a Taser to subdue him. While being treated at a medical center for minor injuries, he bent a nurse's finger and groped her breast, prosecutors said.

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"Most importantly, we hope that the charges announced today will help healthcare workers feel supported and protected by the authorities while performing their duties and saving lives," a clinic statement said.

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