Charges filed after handgun found on Memorial Hospital patient in Belleville

Damian Hurston
Damian Hurston Provided

A 25-year-old St. Louis man was charged Friday with weapons violations after police were called to Memorial Hospital in Belleville, where staffers found a handgun on a patient who had been taken to the hospital by an ambulance crew Thursday, police said.

Damian Hurston was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and unlawful possession of a firearm with defaced identification marks, according to Belleville Police Lt. Todd Keilbach.

Belleville Police responded to the hospital about 6:05 a.m. Thursday and were told an intoxicated man had a handgun. The man had been transported from the Fairview Heights MetroLink station to the hospital via an ambulance.

When hospital staffers were treating Hurston, the handgun was spotted inside his pants leg, Keilbach said in a news release.

The hospital staffers were assisted by a Washington Park police officer who happened to be at the hospital on an unrelated call.

“The weapon was confiscated, secured and turned over to Belleville officers who discovered the serial number had been removed. The subject has several previous felony convictions,” Keilbach said.

Hurston was treated at the hospital and then released to the police department.

The reason why Hurston was initially taken to the hospital was not released.

Hurston’s bond was set at $50,000.

“Hospital staff and security responded immediately and appropriately, and the weapon was secured without harm to patients, staff or visitors,” Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Anne Thomure said in a statement.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.