Odessa, TX – Police arrested an 18-year-old father-to-be on Monday after he attacked a nurse and tried to strangle two infants while his girlfriend was giving birth to their child down the hall.
Odessa police said Marcus McCowan Jr. arrived at the Labor and Delivery unit at Odessa Regional Medical Center at about 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 3 because his girlfriend was in labor, KMID reported.
A nurse told police that McCowan approached another nurse at the nurses’ station, grabbed her arm, and made an “unintelligible statement.”
He was asked to leave, and he started running back and forth in the hallway, according to witnesses.
Then McCowan reportedly approached a new mother who was holding her newborn in a baby carrier while she waited to be discharged, KMID reported.
Nurses said he focused his attention on the newborn and the mother turned away from him.
McCowan walked away but returned seconds later, screaming and yelling as he charged toward them at full speed, KMID reported.
Police said he rushed at three nurses and tried to get into the locked nursery, pushing one of the nurses to the ground.
When McCowan couldn’t get into the nursery, he turned around and grabbed the baby in the carrier from its mother’s arms and ran into the Lactation Room, KMID reported.
A nurse who chased after him told police she saw him with his hands around the baby’s neck, strangling the infant.
Nurses said the infant’s face changed color due to lack of oxygen before they were able to wrestle the tiny victim free of its crazy attacker, KMID reported.
A respiratory therapist who had come to see what the yelling was about watched McCowan try to break into the nursery again and manage to get in on the second attempt, according to police.
The therapist told police she chased McCowan into the nursery where he grabbed a newborn baby girl by the neck and began strangling her with both hands, KMID reported.
Witnesses said picked up the baby – who had started turning blue – by her neck and began shaking her.
The therapist told police she heard McCowan tell the baby to “die” and made a move as if to toss the infant to the ground, KMID reported.
So, she said reached out to McCowan and slowly pulled him to the ground, protecting the baby’s head in the process.
Police said the therapist stayed on the ground with the baby and McCowan until help arrived, KMID reported.
Odessa police responded to the scene and tried to take McCowan into custody, but he resisted arrest.
Once he was handcuffed and officers were walking him out of the hospital, police said the suspect tried twice, without success, to take an officer’s gun from his holster, KMID reported.
McCowan has been booked on a slew of charges that included multiple counts of attempted capital murder, assault, assault of a public servant, resisting arrest, attempting to take a weapon from an officer, criminal trespass, and possession of a controlled substance.
Police found a THC vape pen in the suspect’s possession, the New York Post reported.
Odessa Regional Medical Center President Stacey Brown released a statement after the incident.
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to those who responded to the incident last evening, especially our nurses, therapists and security team who worked diligently to protect innocent babies and others,” the statement read.
“The staff and physicians, along with the response team from the Odessa Police Department, are incredible heroes and we are all so grateful to each of them,” Brown said. ““Our attention is now focused on caring for and supporting those who were impacted by this including our patients, their families, and our staff.”
Authorities have not yet released any information about the medical conditions of the newborns who were brutally attacked by McCowan, KMID reported.