SANTA ANA, Calif. – A Poway man faces battery and resisting arrest charges after being accused of punching two medical assistants at a Southern California COVID-19 vaccination clinic and later groping a nurse at an area hospital.
In a Dec. 30 incident, Thomas Apollo, 44, reportedly was asked to leave the Families Together clinic in Tustin for refusing to wear a mask at the facility, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. The office is accusing Apollo of a bizarre series of behavior where he allegedly called clinic workers “murderers” and used “expletives” to employees who’d asked him to either wear a mask or to go outside.
His charges stem from an attack where he is accused of punching one medical assistant five times and another assistant twice. According to the DA’s office, Apollo was held down by bystanders until police officers arrived.
Upon the arrival of police, he reportedly was tased by officers so that he could be handcuffed, the office said in a news release.
Later at the Orange County Global Medical Center, Apollo then was accused of “grabbing a nurse’s finger and bending it” as well as groping her while being treated for cuts and scrapes from the prior incident.
“Instead of being treated with the same compassion and respect in which they treat their patients, these health care workers were punched in the face and physically assaulted for just trying to do their jobs, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a release. “Violence of any kind will not be tolerated and we will hold this individual accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Apollo now faces four charges, all of which are misdemeanors, including two counts of battery, one county of battery on a nurse count and one resisting arrest count. If convicted of all charges, he could face a maximum of three years in Orange County Jail.
Apollo is due to be arraigned March 30 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.