Hospital reviewing assault suspect’s treatment
Published Monday, December 10, 2012 8:35PM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 8:46PM PST
St. Paul’s Hospital has launched an internal investigation into the treatment an Alberta man received days before allegedly beating up three women in downtown Vancouver.
Officials confirm 35-year-old Nicholas Osuteye was admitted to the hospital last Wednesday and seen by a triage nurse, an emergency physician and a psychiatrist.
Dr. Maria Corral, head of psychiatry at St. Paul’s, said a preliminary review suggests all proper clinical processes were followed, but an in-depth probe is just getting underway.
“We’re very concerned about this incident, we’re taking it very seriously,” Corral said.
“We all need to understand what happened and each individual is different so we have to look at the specifics of this case to make sure we understand what was involved.”
Few other details, including the date Osuteye was released from hospital, have been released. Officials say they cannot comment while the case is before the courts.
Downtown Eastside advocate Mark Townsend said he deals with the mentally ill every day, and is concerned some are not getting the help they need from St. Paul’s.
“I’ve been in the same experience with taking people to the hospital who, from what seems to me like good common sense, should definitely be staying in hospital, and literally they’re released instantaneously,” Townsend said.
St. Paul’s hospital estimates it has treated nearly 6,000 people with mental heath issues so far this year alone, but Townsend said each case still needs to be taken seriously.
“You see thousands and thousands of people and nothing happens, but… you’ve got to be vigilant for that time when there’s a warning sign and you’ve got to act to it. But it is tough, that’s not easy.”
Osuteye has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count each of assault and mischief in connection with the vicious string of assaults committed Friday morning.
Police believe the Edmonton man brutally assaulted three victims, ages 63, 79 and 87, with his bare hands beginning at around 9:30 a.m. in the 700-block of Pacific Boulevard. He was arrested not far from the scene wearing only his underpants.
Two of the victims were found in what police described as grave condition, and all remained in hospital Monday as Osuteye appeared in court for the first time.
The suspect is being kept in custody until a 30-day psychiatric assessment can be completed at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Coquitlam.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Lisa Rossington