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William N. Sartelle
Photo Courtesy Nashua Police
Friday, February 10, 2012

Hospital tips off police that patient was a fugitive

Police received a tip about a fugitive from justice from an unlikely source Thursday morning.

Staff at St. Joseph Hospital called police to say a patient they were treating was a wanted man, said Lt. Michael Moushegian.

How the hospital knew William N. Sartelle was wanted is a great question, Moushegian said.

“They invoked HIPAA and wouldn’t tell us how they knew,” Moushegian said.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, is a federal law that protects the medical privacy of patients.

Police went to the hospital about 10 a.m. and arrested Sartelle, 39, of Pepperell, Mass.

Sartelle is charged as a fugitive from justice out of Massachusetts, where he was wanted for driving under the influence and theft of a motor vehicle, police said.

Sartelle also had active bench warrants out of Nashua and Milford district courts for failure to pay fines on previous offenses, police said.

Sartelle was arrested without incident. He is being held at the Valley Street jail in Manchester pending an arraignment at Nashua district court on Spring Street.