A Fort Hood soldier who was arrested and charged with a crime for bringing a concealed handgun into a local hospital had his charges dismissed.
Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Owen Sampson had a concealed handgun license when he brought his Springfield .45 into Metroplex Hospital’s emergency room March 30. State law prohibits concealed weapons from being brought to several places, such as convenience stores, bars and hospitals.
Through the legal wrangling that ultimately led to the dismissal of charges late Tuesday, Sampson and his attorney, Kurt Glass, maintained there was no notification on the doors of the hospital’s ER indicating weapons were prohibited when Sampson entered the hospital.
Glass said he took a picture of the doors in April and was prepared to show a blown-up photo projection of the doors at trial.
The doors have since had a sticker affixed to them indicating the illegality of bringing a weapon into the hospital, whether with a concealed handgun license or not.
Despite the dismissal, Sampson said he remained irritated with the Killeen Police Department over a lack of “education” shown by the officers who arrested him and how the charge placed his military career in limbo.
“It was a slap in the face,” Sampson said.
He had been a weapon liaison at Fort Hood, but after his arrest, his commanders stripped him of the additional duty title. “It put my character into question,” he said.
It also temporarily invalidated Sampson’s concealed handgun license, which should now be returned after some paperwork is turned over to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Sampson went to Metroplex Hospital shortly after midnight March 30 to check on his girlfriend, who is now his wife.
He had recently returned from a deployment in Iraq. That night the two had been drinking.
A police report stated his wife drank four bottles of wine, which led to a disturbance. Sampson called 911, and paramedics took her to the hospital. He followed in his car.
When he entered the ER, a security officer spotted a bulge under Sampson’s shirt and asked if it was a gun. Sampson told the officer it was. He was detained until police arrested him.
The Bell County Attorney’s office dismissed the charge for lack of evidence, court documents stated.
All that remains for Sampson now is to have his gun returned. It was a gift from his wife.
“I just want to get my weapon back and go on with my life,” he said.