Marshall police: Sen. John Bizon accused of assaulting nurse practitioner

Republican to be arraigned on misdemeanor assault charge in January

By: - November 15, 2021 6:51 pm

Sen. John Bizon | Gov. Whitmer office photo

State Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek) is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after a nurse practitioner at a Marshall medical group accused him of grabbing her, pulling her into him and squeezing her before storming off because she wouldn’t give him medication unrelated to his diagnosis, according to police and court documents.

Bizon, a doctor who was first elected to the Senate in 2018 and represents Calhoun, Barry and Ionia counties, allegedly inappropriately touched the nurse practitioner during a visit to the Oaklawn Medical Group on Aug. 14, the nurse’s report filed with the Marshall Police Department on Aug. 17 stated.

According to the police report, the nurse practitioner recommended an over-the-counter medication for Bizon. The elected official told her he didn’t understand the recommendation, after which the nurse pulled up information about the medication on a laptop. As she discussed the medication with Bizon while he sat on the exam table, the state senator allegedly “intentionally grabbed her with his right arm/hand, by her waist, pulled her into his body, squeezed her hip with his right hand, and told her he is an otolaryngologist,” the police report said.

The senator, who previously represented Michigan’s 62nd District in the House of Representatives, ran an ear, nose and throat practice in Battle Creek until he and his partner closed it in 2019 following a ransomware attack. 

Bizon and his attorney, Martin Crandall, did not return requests for comment. Abby Mitch, a spokesperson for the Senate GOP caucus, also did not respond to a request for comment.

The nurse practitioner was “shocked” by the action, the police report said.

After the alleged assault, Bizon asked the nurse to order a specific medication for him and was told no. After questioning her response, the nurse told him the medication he wanted was not for his diagnosis, according to the police report. 

“Bizon then questioned her decision and told [the nurse] that he was disappointed in her,” the report said. “Bizon was visibly angry.”

The state senator then allegedly got off the exam table and “repeatedly stated that he was disappointed in her as he was walking down the hallway,” the police report stated. He then left the building.

When the nurse told a medical assistant what happened in the exam room, that employee told the nurse that Bizon had allegedly touched her while she was taking his vitals and made inappropriate comments, the police report said.

Bizon allegedly grabbed the assistant’s left arm and told her, “my blood pressure is up” because she was in the room, the police report said.

The report said the medical assistant told police she “did not take offense to [Bizon] grabbing her arm and the flirting comments he was making towards her.”

The nurse practitioner filed a report with Oaklawn on Aug. 15, police said. When she did not hear back, she reached out to her employer’s human resources department and was told to call the police.

Bizon is scheduled to be arraigned on one misdemeanor assault charge on Jan. 19, according to court documents. His case was reassigned from the Calhoun County prosecutor’s office to the Barry County prosecutor’s office, police said.

After the Lansing State Journal broke the news about Bizon Monday, Dr. Farhan Bhatti, a family physician in Lansing and the Michigan state lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, a national advocacy group, called on Bizon to resign if the allegations are true.

“No person should be subjected to assault in their workplace, and after the ongoing trauma and exhaustion that health care workers have faced over the past two years, Sen. Bizon’s alleged behavior toward these medical professionals is particularly appalling,” Bhatti said in a press release. “As a former practicing physician, Sen. Bizon knows better than to inappropriately touch others in an exam room or inappropriately request medications, and he should be especially ashamed of his unprofessional, dangerous behavior. While due process must be followed, if these allegations are indeed true, then Sen. Bizon should resign immediately.”

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Anna Gustafson
Anna Gustafson

Anna Gustafson is the assistant editor at Michigan Advance, where her beats include economic justice, health care and immigration. Previously the founder of the Muskegon Times and the editor at Rapid Growth Media in Grand Rapids, Anna has worked as an editor and reporter for news outlets across the country. She began her journalism career reporting on state politics in Wisconsin and has gone on to cover government, racial justice and immigration reform in New York City, education in Connecticut, the environment in Wyoming, and more. Previously, Anna lived in Argentina and Morocco, and, when she’s not working, she’s often trying to perfect the empanada and couscous recipes she fell in love with in these countries. You’ll likely also find her working on her century-old home in downtown Lansing, writing that ever-elusive novel and hiking throughout Michigan.

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