Enfield dentist charged in patient’s death

Dr. Rashmi Patel

ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH)– Dr. Rashmi Patel is now charged a year after one of his patients died after surgery. He turned himself in to police Tuesday night.

“When somebody loses their life there’s always a sense of empathy for the family, first and foremost,” said Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza. “The warrant was sealed, so I’m not at liberty to discuss the details of the warrant application.”

A librarian, 64-year-old Judith Gan of Ellington, died after being in Patel’s chair. He’s charged with criminally negligent homicide and tampering with evidence.

Details of the case came in front of the state Dental Commission Back in December. Testimony revealed Patel sedated Gan and pulled 20 of her infected teeth all at once. A dental assistant saw the patient in distress, begged Patel to stop the procedure, and then called 911. The medical examiner’s office just ruled she died of therapeutic complications. With the ruling, police were able to get a warrant.

Related: Dentist suspended; patient died after teeth pulled

“When that finally came in recently, the detectives resumed their investigation,” said Sferrazza. “They were able to put together enough facts to establish enough probable cause where the judge signed the warrant for his arrest.”

The state Dental Commission decided to ban Patel from using any form of sedation, and his license to practice was suspended for at least five years.

Patel’s attorney, Paul Knag, sent a statement late Wednesday afternoon.

“After several months of deliberation, the state Dental Commission found that Dr. Patel’s actions did not warrant the revocation of his license,” said Knag in the statement. “In the Dental Commission proceeding, multiple expert witnesses testified that Dr. Patel followed the standard of care. The state’s seeking of criminal charges is contrary to this evidence and inconsistent with the decision of the Commission not to revoke his license. Dr Patel disputes the charges and urges that the charges be dropped.”

Patel posted a $25,000 bond Tuesday night, after his arrest.

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