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Patient in Tennessee Punched his Dentist in the Parking Lot

George Lasher punched his dentist in Athens, Tennessee
George Lasher punched his dentist in Athens, TennesseeWRCB - TV Channel 3

WRCB TV in Chattanooga, Tennessee reported that George Lasher punched dentist Charles Pesce in the parking lot at his dental office. It seems that George Lasher tried to pay his $15 copay with a check and was not allowed to pay with a check and left without paying. Dr. Pesce reportedly followed Lasher to talk with him in the parking lot and was punched. Then Lasher attempted to run Pesce down with his car. Assault charges were filed on Lasher, age 67 who lives in Athens, Tennessee where this dental office is located. Dr. Pesce refused medical treatment. Lasher was released on a $10,000 bond.

Dr. Pesce has been licensed to practice dentistry in Tennessee since 1982 and graduated from the University of TN College of Dentistry that same year. The Tennessee State Health Board shows his dental license to be free of medical or malpractice litigation and Pesce does not appear to ever have had a problem with the board.

In 2011 Pesce took the East Tennessee Construction Company to court. This is the company that had built his dental office. The court found "It is undisputed that the Builder constructed a building with numerous code violations and structural deficiencies. The primary problem with the building is water leakage into the interior of the building with resulting mold and mildew. Some of the water leakage appears to have come from around windows that were not properly flashed and caulked. Much of the water leakage is into the basement itself because of improper flashing and water-proofing around the perimeter of the basement."

Pesce was awarded $382,000 for this leaky basement problem. It was noted that he spent $460,000 to construct the building and was in it for some time before he took the East Tennessee Construction Company to court.

Eric Summey wrote on Google Plus Reviews of Dr. Pesce: "I haven't been to Dr. Pesce in a long time. Actually it was when I was only 5 or 6 years old and I am 18 now. Dr. Pesce was doing some work to me at the time, but I don't remember exactly what though. What I do remember is that I felt this intense pain on the inside of my cheek. It hurt so bad, so what would any 6 year old do? I screamed and cried extremely loud. So this "dentist" put his hand over my mouth and said 'Eric, you are going to lay here, and you are going to shut up.' I was terrified then. My mom even remembers that. Mom and I just walked out the door because I was traumatized, and I had a fear of the dentist for many years thanks to you Charles."

Crystal Merrell Hammond wrote on Facebook about this incident "I can see this man doing this, Pesce is not a nice man. I missed my sons appointment one morning, he called and screamed at me at my work. We haven't been back."

In all the years I have been a hygienist and worked in dentistry I have never seen a dentist follow a patient to the parking lot. I have seen patients leave without paying a bill that was way higher than this one. I have seen dentists take patients to court to collect fees owed to them. Perhaps Dr. Pesce will get the fee up front like many other dental offices have resorted to doing to avoid this type of situation in the future.