RICHMOND (NewsLeader.com) - The Virginia Board of Medicine has suspended the medical license of a Churchville physician who exhibited erratic behavior during the past four years, according to state documents.
In December the board ruled that Dr. Richard W. Elsea, who received his medical license in 1992, "is unsafe to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety due to mental illness."
Documents from a formal administrative hearing on Dec. 7 show that Elsea has made a number of unusual statements to police and a board investigator, which resulted in his license initially being suspended in November.
None of the incidents appear to be related to patient care.
In 2009, the board said Elsea spoke to a state investigator and claimed he was shot in the abdomen by an unknown assailant while getting off a tractor near his garage. Elsea said he did not call 911 and treated the wound by himself.
In March 2011, Elsea told a local law enforcement officer that he shot and struck a person in his yard. Elsea said he thought the person was trying to break into his home, and said he shot his gun six times. No evidence of a shooting or wounding was found at the scene, the board said. At the time of the alleged incident, Elsea said he was ill and had been "drinking" Nyquil, an over-the-counter cold medicine, according to the board's report.
The same month of the shooting report, Elsea told authorities he was "spooked" and feared for the life of a family member because of threatening events that had taken place since 2005.
In the fall of 2011, during a conversation with a Virginia State Police officer, Elsea said he was speaking via phone while hiding under a desk with a gun because "someone was after him," according to the report. Elsea claimed that police weren't handling his concerns properly and were possibly involved in a conspiracy against him.
On an unspecified date, Elsea also reported that someone placed bullets inside his car and mailbox as a message. In October 2011, a police officer told the board that Elsea's paranoia was a health concern and could possibly impact his medical practice.
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