Lake County

‘I felt like I was nothing’: Woman describes moment she says Leesburg doctor battered her

LEESBURG, Fla. — You can still see the bruise on Shilo Bryant’s face from where she says a doctor tasked with treating her hit her instead.

Police said the doctor, Onyekachi Nwabuko, 44, was arrested Wednesday at UF Health Leesburg on three counts of battery.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Investigators said Nwabuko believed Bryant was faking being unconscious.

“I couldn’t even move. That’s how bad it was,” Bryant said. “I couldn’t even move. I was staring at him, and I couldn’t even move.”

READ: Leesburg doctor accused of battering patient he believed was faking condition

Bryant said she has epilepsy and went to the hospital because she had a seizure.

She said her eyes were open, and she was aware of what was going on, but because of the seizure she couldn’t react. Suddenly, she said, Nwabuko started striking her.

“He just started punching me in the face, in my eye, and it felt [like] the worst pain of my entire life,” she said.

Moments later, she said the doctor grabbed her own hand and used it to strike her in the face even more.

“I felt like I was nothing,” Bryant said. “I felt like I was cheated. Like I was just a piece of dirt on the ground.”

READ: Long-dead Florida deputy named as ‘only probable’ killer of 11-year-old girl slain in 1983

Other medical workers told investigators they witnessed the doctor grabbing Bryant’s hand and striking her on three separate occasions.

He told police he was using the “arm-drop” method that’s used to test to see if someone is faking unconsciousness. But a nurse told police it didn’t look like that practice, and that he was repeatedly striking the victim.

READ: Kim Potter sentenced to 24 months, with credit for time served for killing Daunte Wright

“You’re there to help people. You’re not there to put more harm to them than when they came in,” Bryant said.

Channel 9 called and sent text messages and emails to the doctor, but so far has not heard back. We also reached out to the hospital for an update on the doctor’s job status, but are waiting to hear back.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.