Assaulting the Nurse

New York Times – January 27, 1889

A Woman Badly Cut and Beaten and the Watchman Arrested

Philadelphia, Jan 26. — Annie Eisenhardt, a nurse in the Cooper Hospital, in Camden, N.J., was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood on the second floor of the building, in the bathroom, about 1 o’clock this morning, after being murderously assaulted by a man, who apparently escaped from the building through the window, by means of a rope formed by tying towels together. Joseph Ellis, the night watchman and engineer, is now under arrest charged with having committed the assault.

The head physician tells the story of the nurse’s midnight encounter. Shortly after 12 o’clock she entered the bathroom for the purpose of preparing a hot bath for a patient. As she entered the room she was seized by a man, who closed the door and demanded her money. “I have no money,” she replied, terribly frightened, “but here is my gold watch, take that.” “I don’t want your watch; I have come tonight to do away with you. Tomorrow night I will do the watchman,” fiercely exclaimed the assailant.

At this the woman screamed, when the man caught hold of her and prevented any further outcry. He then tied her hands and feet and cut off her long head of hair. He also attempted to assault her and kicked and cut her with some sharp instrument. He escaped and left her unconscious.

When she regained consciousness she found herself covered with blood and very weak, and realized that she had been cut. She could not arise because her hands and feet were still tied, but her groans attracted the attention of Joseph Ellis, the night watchman, who was just making his rounds. He and a convalescent patient opened the bathroom door and found the nurse lying in a pool of blood on the floor. She was taken to another room, where she told her story, and her wounds were dressed by Dr. Jarrett, the resident physician.

The doctor found her badly cut up and weak from loss of blood. None of the cuts were deep, and there was no great danger from them. She was, however, suffering from the effects of the brutal kicks administered to her, and there was imminent danger of peritonitis setting in, in the event of which she will probably die. She had been cut in nine places with a very sharp instrument. The doctor found three incisions on the right forearm and one on the left arm, two on the forehead and one on the right side of the face, one on the scalp, one on the left leg, and a long cut on the calf of the right leg. This last was deeper than the others.

Suspicious circumstances led Mayor Pratt to cause the detention of Joseph Ellis, the night watchman and engineer, on suspicion of being the murderous assailant. The Mayor summoned the Public Prosecutor, and after a consultation the watchman was committed to prison.

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