A registered nurse in Pennsylvania is being charged with recklessly endangering another person, driving under the influence of alcohol, and other counts after being caught drunk while assisting with an emergency surgery at the VA Medical Center near Wilkes-Barre, PA.

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59 year old Richard Pieri admitted that he had been to a casino, where he drank four or five beers before being called to the hospital to assist with the surgery, according to the police affidavit. Pieri says that he forgot that he was on call on the night of February 4.

There is video of him stumbling through the parking lot before he headed inside and helped with an emergency appendectomy just before midnight. A physician’s assistant claimed that Pieri was “definitely not himself” that night, allegedly growing agitated after having difficulty logging into a computer.


The patient was later readmitted to the hospital after suffering stomach pain.

The preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for March 29.