A family dispute preceded an episode of shocking violence last weekend by a Maplewood hospital patient that led to injuries for several nurses and ended with the mysterious death of the patient shortly after his arrest.
But big questions remain: Why did Charles E. Logan Sr. turn quickly and uncharacteristically combative, and why did he just as suddenly die?
“You really hope that there is some clear answer for the sake of the family, for the sake of the nurses,” said Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell.
“Everybody just wonders, what happened here? We don’t know.”
It may take weeks before officials learn what caused Logan, 68, of St. Paul, to die shortly after police subdued him three blocks from St. John’s Hospital, where he had gone a few days before while showing signs of confusion.
The family conflict leading up to Logan’s outburst also remained unclear. Family members have refused to say anything about what happened, and an attorney representing Logan also declined to comment Tuesday.
But a report by a Maplewood police officer called to the hospital Saturday evening by the attorney, Shane Perry, suggests that there was a difference of opinion between Logan and his wife and daughter about his treatment — so much so that Perry sought an emergency order from a Ramsey County judge “to protect his client.”
According to the report, a nursing supervisor told officer Michael Dugas that there were “significant family dynamics surrounding” Logan and that Logan’s wife and daughter agreed on his care but that he was “able to make his own decisions.”
Logan told Perry at the hospital that he wanted to sell his house and give half of the money to his grandchildren, “indicating that he desired a separation from his wife.”
After a few minutes, the report continues, “the family wanted [Perry] to leave and caused a scene.”
Perry left the hospital, but he asked for Dugas’ help in contacting District Judge Salvador Rosas for an emergency protective order. Rosas declined to talk to Perry and told Dugas that the attorney should submit the request “at the appropriate time.”
About five hours later — shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday — Logan left his room and went to a nursing station brandishing a metal bar used to attach equipment to a hospital bed.
Schnell said that a surveillance video vividly recorded the scene.
“There’s nursing staff talking to each other, and all of a sudden he comes charging into view with this large, long pole and starts wildly swinging at the staff,” he said. “They start running. He runs after them. As they’re running he is, with significant force, wildly swinging this pole at these nurses. You see several of them get struck, multiple times.”
One nurse suffered a collapsed lung, another a broken wrist and two others were injured while trying to escape.
Logan then fled the hospital with the bar in hand. Ramsey County deputies and police searched the area and found him three blocks away.
When he refused to drop the bar, deputy Richard Werdien fired a Taser at him. But the probes didn’t attach, and deputy Mark Suchy rushed him, took him to the ground and handcuffed him with the help of Maplewood police Sgt. Mike Nye.
Logan then went limp, Schnell said, and police and paramedics tried to revive him. He was taken back to St. John’s, but did not survive.
By all accounts, including those of family members, Logan’s behavior in the hospital was “utterly not him,” Schnell said.
If he had hit someone on the head with the metal bar “it would have been fatal,” Schnell said. “And it was clear that he was not himself. He had no beef with these people.”
The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office has finished an autopsy but will need a few weeks to analyze toxicology test results. It will report its findings to the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which took over the investigation at the request of Maplewood police and Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office.