By Gabriel Baird and Donna J. Miller Cleveland Plain Dealer reporters
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Lesley Cochran came to the Cleveland Clinic with her husband Tuesday for treatment of his heart condition. She ended up getting a shock that would make anyone's pumper skip a beat.
The 60-year-old Mansfield woman was standing outside the Taussig Cancer Center about 9 a.m. when she saw Clinic police officers scrapping with a man wearing a motorcycle helmet.
The officers had escorted Joseph N. Matthews, 57, of Cleveland, away from workers and passers-by because he was screaming.
The officers got him in front of the building, near East 90th Street at Euclid Avenue, and were using their nightsticks to prod him along. Matthews then pulled out a knife with a 5-inch blade and slashed one of the officers, Robert Grzywaczewski, across the chest and hand.
"As soon as they called 'Officer down,' about 20 of them were here fast," Cochran said.
Police wrestled the knife out of Matthews' hand and took him into custody.
Matthews was found not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon by reason of insanity in 1998.
The officer was not wearing a bulletproof vest. Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Sheil said the hospital's officers are provided with a vest when they join the department, but wearing one is not mandatory.
A Clinic pediatric surgeon, who was training as a trauma surgeon, decided Grzywaczewski should to go to a Level One trauma center, which provides the highest level of surgical care for trauma. The Clinic doesn't have one, so the doctor sent the officer to MetroHealth Medical Center, which does.
The wound turned out to be superficial. The officer was treated and released.
Matthews was taken to St. Vincent Charity Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. He had not been charged.
Meanwhile, doctors were treating Cochran's husband with all sorts of high-tech tests. She gave him a heart test of her own: She told him what had happened and how close she had been to the violence outside.