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A Meridian man accused of using a butter knife to stab a staff member at a Nampa treatment center is in jail.

Austin James Beale, 20, is a patient at the Southwest Idaho Treatment Center, a hospital aimed at helping the developmentally or intellectually disabled.

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan said Beale was being admitted to the hospital s crisis unit at about 9 p.m. when he became violent.

Several staff members responded and he did attempt to stab a staff member in the back, Shanahan said. The employee was bruised, but not seriously injured, and didn t need to go to the hospital.

Hospital officials still aren t sure where Beale got the knife. Shanahan said the matter is still under investigation.

It just happened last night, we don t have a full report yet, he said.

Beale was booked into the Canyon County Jail just before 10 p.m. Tuesday. He has been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault.

If convicted, Beale could face up to five years in prison on the assault charge and up to 15 years for battery.But Shanahan guessed the case will likely never surface in court, due to Beale's mental delays.

The case has been sealed in the Idaho Repository.

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