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Southbridge man who allegedly stabbed nurse said someone commanded him ‘to be a warrior’

By Globe Staff 

The Southbridge man who allegedly stabbed a nurse at a local hospital Wednesday morning plotted the attack for weeks and told police someone ordered him “to be a warrior for the cause,” according to a chilling arrest report made public on Thursday.

Conor O’Regan, 24, allegedly stabbed Elise Wilson inside Harrington Hospital in her face and left upper arm, forcing rescuers to transport her to University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center in Worcester.

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Prosecutors said Thursday that Wilson remained in critical but stable condition.

According to the report, O’Regan told police after his arrest that “he knew what he did was wrong but something needed to be done,” and that “someone commanded him to be a warrior for the cause.”

The report did not elaborate on his purported cause, but Southbridge Detective Evan Genkos did note that O’Regan “confirmed he acted alone.”

In addition, he told police that he initially became angry with hospital staff about the treatment he received for a wrist injury about three weeks ago. He said he developed a plan to get a knife from his parents’ Charlton home and return to the hospital to attack someone.

Wilson, O’Regan told police, “happened to be the unlucky one that suffered the attack today,” Genkos wrote.

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The nurse’s family, in a statement prosecutors released Thursday, said they were “very thankful that we were granted the chance to be able to travel down the long road of recovery.” They also thanked the medical staff that treated Wilson.

O’Regan, police said, provided a grim account of the moments leading up to the brutal, wholly unexpected attack.

O’Regan also provided a grim account of the moments leading up to the brutal, wholly unexpected attack.

He checked himself into the hospital and was escorted to the triage room, where he pulled the knife after about five minutes and began stabbing Wilson in the face, “at which time she began screaming,” the report said.

O’Regan later fled from the triage room and was eventually arrested at his apartment on Main Street in Southbridge. When police knocked, he answered the door with blood-stained hands and declared, “they [expletive] people up at Harrington Hospital,” the report said.

The document was released after O’Regan’s arraignment Thursday in Dudley District Court on charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60, armed assault with intent to murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

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Not-guilty pleas were entered on his behalf, and Judge Mark Noonan ordered him held without bail pending a dangerousness hearing on Monday, according to the Worcester district attorney’s office. Noonan also ordered O’Regan to undergo a mental health evaluation.

The public defender who represented O’Regan at his arraignment could not be reached for comment.

Wilson has been a licensed nurse since 1970 and renewed her license last fall, according to a state Health and Human Services online database. She attended Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, where she received an associates degree, the database states.

O’Regan is single and works at a McDonald’s, according to his booking sheet.

In the hours before the attack on Wednesday, he posted a bizarre message to Facebook, writing, “It’s great having the God of Fire back.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com
Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.