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Video Reveals Startling Hospital Abuse

A still image from video footage of a male patient being physically abused in a St. Petersburg hospital.

A recently released video from a St. Petersburg hospital showed two male nurses violently abusing a homeless man last fall, raising questions over treatment there and why police have been slow in investigating the case.

On Tuesday, St.Petersburg-based news site published a report accompanied by a shocking black-and-white video from the hospital's surveillance camera showing the two nurses carrying in a skinny drunk man and start poking his head with a cane as he crept naked and helpless on the floor.

The episode occurred in November, several days before the 31-year-old man died of head injuries, the report said.

The report prompted St. Petersburg's branch of the Investigative Committee to make a statement Wednesday saying the investigation — launched in December — is continuing.

According to the inquiry, the homeless man was found lying on the street by passersby, who called an ambulance. His death followed an apparent fall and wasn't connected to the nurses, the statement said.

"Altogether, the hospital workers acted unlawfully … and should be prosecuted," the statement read, although no one has yet been charged.

The two nurses denied any wrongdoing, saying the man suffered the head injury as a result of falling from a stretcher, reported.

Investigators say it is the second incident of excessive "physical action" at the St. Elizabeth Hospital within a short period, which had led them to appeal to city health-care officials to review the hospital chief's adequacy for the job.

News reports indicated that the previous fatal case at the hospital dates back to 2009, when an intoxicated man was severely beaten by nurses and died later of injuries. No one has been prosecuted in connection with his death.

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