A surgeon practicing at the Nassau University Medical Center, New York, was arrested Tuesday from Long Island for sneaking up behind a nurse in the hospital and attempting to strangle her with an elastic cord, police said.

Venkatesh Sasthakonar, of Albertson, who specializes in weight loss surgery, had an argument with the 51-year-old nurse Monday regarding a wrong medication she had given to one of his patients. Later, on the same day, Sasthakonar attacked the nurse from behind, wrapping an elastic cord around her neck, according to Nassau County Police.

He reportedly told the woman: "I should kill you for this," reports stated.

Nassau University Medical Center released a statement following the incident: "Following the alleged incident that occurred on January 22, 2018, the hospital cooperated with the Nassau County Police Department. At no time was patient safety effected. The doctor has been suspended until further notice."

Sasthakonar, 44, left the hospital after the incident, but returned hours later and was taken into custody by the police. He was arraigned Tuesday on the charges of second-degree strangulation and misdemeanor third-degree assault.

The name of the nurse involved in the incident was kept anonymous by the police due to legal reasons. Soon after she was attacked, the nurse was treated for "substantial pain" to her neck and later released, police confirmed.

Sasthakonar, who practiced at the hospital since 2008 and performed bariatric surgeries on obese patients, pleaded not guilty to the charges Tuesday.

According to Newsday, a 2008 news release by the hospital claimed that Sasthakonar was hired as a member of the hospital’s bariatric surgery department because he was “skilled in performing laparoscopic obesity surgeries with excellent results.”

Sasthakonar was released on $3,500 cash bail and an order of protection was issued against him, police said citing online court records. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb.26.

His attorney, Melvyn Roth of Garden City, said that the strangulation charge was “overblown” and the doctor did not intend to hurt the nurse.

doctor-563428_1920 Above is a representative image of a doctor. Photo: Pixabay

“There was no intent in this situation to do any harm to the nurse whatsoever,” Roth said. “They’ve worked together for 10 years without any kind of incident... We look forward to defending this in court.”

Roth claimed that his client was half-upset and half-joking during his actions. “It was blown out of proportion,” the attorney said. “He just wanted to let her know that she had done something that was not according to protocol.”

Sasthakonar’s attorney said he does not believe that the nurse suffered serious injuries due to the incident and that the patient involved too did not suffer any ill effects due to the wrong medication that was given to him.

In a similar incident in December 2017, a local nurse had filed a lawsuit against a doctor alleging that he assaulted her at his Beverly Hills medical office. A surveillance video of the incident was also available, according to a ABC Action News report at the time.