Man charged in alleged assaults had psych assessment
Published Sunday, December 9, 2012 5:47PM PST
Last Updated Monday, December 10, 2012 7:21AM PST
A man charged with attempted murder for allegedly attacking three women in Vancouver this week had seen a hospital psychiatrist just two days before the assaults, CTV has learned.
Nicholas Osuteye, 35, was charged on Saturday, one day after the brutal attacks happened. Police believe the Edmonton man assaulted three women with his bare hands, with the first attack happening around 9:30 a.m Friday.
An 87-year-old woman was injured in the 200-block of Columbia Street. While police have identified her, they have not released her name. She remains at the hospital in serious condition.
Within half an hour after the first attack, two other women were assaulted in the 700-block of Pacific Boulevard. Police said a 63-year-old victim suffered life-threatening injuries, while a 79-year-old is being treated for less-severe wounds.
Vancouver police said Osuteye had approached uniformed officers on Wednesday, asking for help regarding seeing a doctor about mental health and medication concerns.
St. Paul’s Hospital also confirmed that Osuteye was assessed by a doctor and a psychiatrist on the same day at the hospital’s emergency ward. Emergency Department Head Dan Kalla did not provide details, citing patient confidentiality.
“They’re seen by an emergency physician who then makes the clinical judgment whether they need to see a psychiatrist and get a psychiatrist’s opinion,” said Kalla, describing the hospital’s protocol for those who show up with mental health issues. “Then the psychiatrists are consulted and we undertake a rigorous review of all patients who are present with psychiatric concerns.”
Police said on Friday the motive behind the three attacks was unclear, and no further details are being released now that the incident is before the courts.
Osuteye’s mother told CTV that her son attended the University of Alberta in his 20s. She said she learned about the charges against her son after seeing news reports, and she hopes to speak to investigators as soon as possible to help piece together how he ended up being accused of attempted murder.
Osuteye is facing three counts of attempted murder, and one count each of assault and mischief.
With files from CTV British Columbia's Penny Daflos