Doctors Behaving Badly: Doctor accused of stealing a dying police officer's watch
Seeing Dr. Cleveland Enmon's alleged misdeeds, retold on the nightly news, prompts a double take. A doctor? In a life or death situation? Stole a patient's watch? And the patient was a cop?
Enmon was arraigned last week on grand theft charges in Stockton, Calif., for allegedly swiping a very pricey watch off the wrist of retired Manteca police officer Jerry Kubena.
Making matters worse, Enmon was supposed to be focused on saving Kubena, who was brought to St. Joseph's Medical Center in June after having heart problems. Kubena's family has accused Enmon in a lawsuit of spotting the watch and letting Kubena die so that he could steal it.
This wasn't just any watch. It was a Presidential Rolex valued at about $16,000.
According to the lawsuit, two nurses saw Kubena's bare wrist and a bulge in Enmon's pocket and put two and two together. They told the hospital's security team, which ordered everyone to stay in place, presumably so they could try to track down the watch.
Enmon, however, ignored the order. He was caught on a security camera ducking outside into the parking lot where a nurse spotted him throwing something into the grass. (Love those watchdog nurses!)
What do you think security guards found in the grass a few minutes later?
The hospital didn't let the family or the police know what had happened until days later, according to the lawsuit. Kubena's family says the hospital and its owner, Catholic Healthcare West, covered up the theft.
"There's no doubt the doctor took my father's watch" Kubena's daughter, Karie Nelson, told the Stockton Record. "The minute he decided to do that, what was his interest to keep my father alive?"
Enmon is out on bail and, apparently, still working.
The hospital, which could use some PR help, is trying to have it both ways, proclaiming its sympathy with the family while attempting to spread the blame - and misspelling the patient's name in the process!
While we do not feel that the complaint paints an accurate picture of what happened, we feel that our patients, our community, and our employees deserve to know that we are committed to the truth and that we will rigorously defend the hospital's reputation.
We were aware that the watch went missing for a short period of time. Notably, the watch in question along with all of the patient's belongings was given to the family members at the hospital while they spent time with their loved one.
We have and continue to fully cooperate with authorities on any external investigation. The physician who cared for Mr. Kubeena [sic] was employed by an independent medical group and has not been scheduled at St. Joseph's Medical Center since the first week of June.
St. Joseph's should be more concerned about the quality of care at the hospital than about the hospital's reputation. Reputations aren't bought and sold. But they can be stolen.