ABCNews.com(GAINESVILLE, Fla.) — A Florida doctor, who was seen yelling and cursing at a patient in a now-viral video, said he did so because the woman was “abusive to the office staff,” according to a statement he released on Wednesday.
Peter Gallogly, a physician at the Gainesville After Hours Clinic in northern Florida, said the video was the last minute of an “hour-long episode” with Jessica Stipe, who he says became irate and refused to leave the office. Gallogly also apologized, however, saying he “overreacted.”
Stipe, who shared a video of the incident on her Facebook page Monday, said she was “in severe pain and throwing up in the trash can” when she complained about the long wait time and asked for her co-pay back, according to her Facebook post.
She said she called the police after the doctor allegedly snatched her 16-year-old daughter’s phone and shoved her when she attempted to retrieve it, according to the post.
“I asked for my co pay back so I could leave and go back home to bed and try to be seen elsewhere tomorrow because I’m just that miserable,” Stripe wrote. “The Dr was mad I wanted my co pay back and was unhappy with having to wait so long and proceeded to cuss me out.”
Stipe’s video had more than 310,000 views and over 2,200 shares on Facebook as of Thursday morning.
Gallogly apologized in a statement on Wednesday and said he was defending his staff when he overreacted. He also sent ABC’s Gainesville affiliate WCJB testimonies from witnesses who described Stripe as “irate” and alleged that she threatened them.
“Ms. Stipe had been increasingly belligerent and abusive to the office staff, cursing and threatening them with violence, because she was unwell and had been waiting to seen by me for more than an hour,” Gallogly wrote in a statement obtained by WCJB.
He said the situation escalated after Stripe received her refund, but refused to leave.
“I went to the front desk only because after Ms. Stipe received her refund, she refused to leave the office, and continued her abusive behavior towards staff,” Gallogly said.
“Despite repeated requests from the office staff, she repeatedly demanded to see me instead of leaving,” he added.
The Gainesville Police Department has opened a criminal investigation into the incident, according to the Gainesville Sun.
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