Couple locked inside Mont Belvieu Urgent Care after clinic empties: 'What if they forgot about us?'

Jessica Willey Image
Friday, March 1, 2024
Couple locked inside Houston-area urgent care when clinic closes
Austin Jennings and Christina Tirado told only ABC13 that they became trapped inside Mont Belvieu Urgent Care, apparently forgotten about.

MONT BELVIEU, Texas (KTRK) -- A Mont Belvieu couple says their local urgent care center locked up and went home, leaving them inside.

Austin Jennings tells ABC13 he went with his partner, Christina Tirado, to Mont Belvieu Urgent Care on Tuesday evening. He had been sick with the flu and strep throat for more than a week and hoped a doctor could prescribe him some medication.

But first, they were taken back to a patient room, and Jennings was given a breathing treatment. He said a nurse brought it in and promised to return when he finished. They heard some goodbyes, and then the office grew quiet.

"Like really, really quiet," Tirado said.

"You could hear a pin drop," Jennings added.

The couple remained in their assigned patient room, but as time passed, they became concerned. His appointment was at 6 p.m. The clinic closes at 7 p.m.

"I was like, 'Man, what if they forgot about us? We've just kind of been sitting here for a while.' And he was like, 'No, they didn't forget about us,'" Tirado explained.

She said Jennings opened the door, and "the alarm starts going crazy."

They shared videos of those moments with ABC13, the alarm sounding in the background. They said a woman with the alarm company spoke to them over a speaker, and then they called 911 for help.

Mont Belvieu Police Chief Jimmy Ellison confirms an officer responded to a "person locked inside a business."

"How do you miss people in a room?" Jennings asked.

The couple was still perplexed two days later, especially since they said they had yet to hear from the business.

"It's unacceptable. This should be made right. I'm a business owner. If I do something wrong, it's my job to acknowledge and make it right," said attorney Donlee Smith, who practices criminal defense but has stepped in to try to facilitate a refund for Jennings' $50 copay, the prescription he went in for in the first place, and an apology.

The couple thinks it is not a big ask.

"Just something, an acknowledgment, an apology," Jennings said.

Mont Belvieu Urgent Care did not respond to a request for comment, but after an ABC13 call, Smith said a lawyer contacted him and informed him that the clinic would refund the copay and provide the prescription. The couple still hope for an apology.

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