BLOOMSBURG -- Dr. Ananda Panikkar of the Bloomsburg area is accused of driving and working under the influence.
According to arrest papers, the anesthesiologist was called into Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital back in July to supervise a surgery. On his way home, he was stopped by police who say the doctor was swerving on the road.
Cops say Dr. Panikkar failed a sobriety test and had a blood alcohol concentration of .28 percent; that's more than three times the legal limit.
"That's clearly not OK! I mean when I go into a hospital, it's obviously to get a treatment from people I think are in the field and they know what they're doing and everything is in order,” said Essi Glah-Fisher of Bloomsburg.
Geisinger officials say Dr. Panikkar no longer works with them. The doctor's attorney says the 67-year-old doctor is retiring.
"I understand it's a hard job, but I mean, don't show up to work if you're going to be drunk, and don't risk somebody's life as well your own. It's pretty much the same thing as driving while drunk,” said Elijah Tracey of Bloomsburg.
"If he's doing that, obviously that's terrible for not only him but everyone involved,” said Bill Morrell of Bloomsburg.
Newswatch 16 spoke with Dr. Panikkar's attorney who says what happened that night does not add up. He describes his client as an "excellent physician" and one who is "well respected." He also says he spoke with Geisinger employees who were in the operating room who say there was no reason to believe there was anything wrong with Dr. Panikkar.
"It's tough to say because nothing's been proven I guess,” said Morrell.
According to papers, Dr. Panikkar told police he was tired from a 16-hour workday and had one glass of wine at dinner the night of his arrest.