Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center notified employees today it has placed on leave a hospital-employed physician suspected in Monday’s alleged racially-motivated attack of a jogger near the LSU Lakes.
The physician, who has not been named but was identified from photos taken by the victim, is white. The victim, a female student-athlete at Southern University, is Black.
In its statement to employees, OLOL President and CEO Scott Wester says, “At Our Lady of the Lake we do not tolerate hate, discrimination or violence by any member of our organization toward another person. I’m writing to let you know directly that Baton Rouge Police have identified one of our employed physicians as the suspect in an alleged racially motivated attack that surfaced online and in the media Tuesday evening. The physician has been placed on leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.”
Wester goes on to say he is “aware of the impact this alarming situation has had on many of us and the need for response.”
He urges employees to use the system’s anonymous compliance hotline to report any “discriminatory, violent or offensive behavior in the workplace. … there are no excuses and no exceptions to respect one another and our community.”
OLOL, in a statement to Daily Report, add, “We take the allegations placed against one of our physicians seriously and understand their gravity. … Based on the outcome of our investigation we may consider further action.”
Baton Rouge Police, meanwhile, were waiting on the suspect to appear for questioning at police headquarters this afternoon. BRPD Spokesman Lt. L’Jean McNeely could not identify the suspect or his attorney but says the suspect is cooperating and agreed to come in for questioning by detectives.
The alleged incident took place Monday around 7 p.m. in the 2800 block of Dalrymple Dr., when, according to BRPD, the victim was punched in the chest and verbally assaulted while walking around the lakes. It is unclear what led to the alleged incident.
A statement issued Tuesday by Southern University Athletics Director Roman Banks says that the alleged incident appeared to be racially motivated.
“As a department, we call on the city of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas to unite in creating change by communicating our beliefs and embracing our differences in order to eradicate racism and social injustice in our community,” Banks’ statement says. “We must strive to be better and to do more.”