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Woman with COVID-19 who spit on walls at Lincoln hospital, punched nurse found not responsible

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A judge has found a Lincoln woman who spit on the walls and floor at a Lincoln hospital where she was being treated for COVID-19, then punched a nurse, not responsible by reason of insanity. 

Nyadak Tut, 49, had been charged with assault on a health care professional, a felony.

In an affidavit for Tut's arrest, a Lincoln police officer said a 22-year-old nurse at CHI St. Elizabeth told them she was on duty shortly before 2 p.m. May 11, 2020, when she heard the patient begin to yell. When the nurse went to check on her, Tut pushed a side table into her legs, then left the room without wearing a mask. 

The nurse told police she followed Tut, who had COVID-19, asking her to put on a mask, but Tut refused and started spitting on the walls and floor of the hospital.

When the nurse went to call security for help, Tut punched her in the face with both fists, police said. 

Tut was arrested a week later. 

Lancaster County District Judge Jodi Nelson presided over a bench trial Nov. 1, and issued her order last week.

A hearing is set in January to consider if there is probable cause to find Tut dangerous to herself or others by reason of mental illness or defect, in which case she could be civilly committed to the Lincoln Regional Center. 

Tut remains in the county jail pending the hearing. 

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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