A group of protestors gathered outside a hospital in Clark County, Wa. to demand the release of a woman held against her will, according to KOIN.
Deputies with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office were called to Legacy Salmon Creek at about 6:30 p.m. Friday after a group of 30 to 40 people gathered outside the hospital. According to police deputies the group amassed to express support for a woman who had a family member being treated at the hospital and the hospital had refused to let the family member leave.
According to reports, the hospital would not let the woman leave until she took a COVID-19 test. According to a livestream shared online, protesters said a woman in her 70s had been hospitalized at Legacy Salmon Creek the previous night with a urinary tract infection and declined to take a coronavirus test. A woman narrating the livestream said hospital employees did not allowed her to leave, prompting demonstrators to gather outside, reports The Oregonian.
After the protestors amassed, several tried to enter the hospital through the emergency room entrance and someone in the crowd used pepper spray, according to deputies. A spokesperson for the hospital told KOIN the protest forced the hospital to go into lockdown until Saturday morning.
The sheriff’s office said the group consisted of “exceptionally unreasonable” people who were “anti-vaxxer, anti-science types” who livestreamed the incident on social media, reports KOIN.
Deputies arrived to protect the hospital from the protestors and to ensure the woman being held inside against her will could be safely released.
The crowd dispersed at around 9:15 p.m., deputies said, after the woman was safely released.
“The livestream attracted thousands of views, in part because it was posted on the YouTube channel of Ammon Bundy, one of the men who led the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Bundy himself was not visible on the livestream, and it’s not clear if he was in attendance,” reports The Oregonian.
Neither the Clark County Sheriff’s Office nor a hospital security dispatcher responded to messages from reporters about the protestors’ claims.