System failed suspect in Vancouver rampage, mom says
The mother of a man accused of trying to murder three women in a rampage through downtown Vancouver wants to know why a psychiatrist who saw him days before didn’t sense something was wrong.
Mercy Osuteye said she hasn’t heard a clear description of what happened when her son Nicholas Osuteye met a psychiatrist at St. Paul’s Hospital on Dec. 5, two days before police say he gravely injured three women in broad daylight.
“I think he did slip through the cracks,” Mercy Osuteye told CTV News outside Vancouver provincial court, where she and her son Brian were attending a bail hearing for Nicholas.
“Unfortunately I can say the medical system failed all of us. It failed the victims, it failed you guys, it failed families, it failed a lot of people,” she said. “My heart goes out to the victims and I pray to God they get better and heal soon.”
St. Paul’s Hospital told CTV News that their staff followed protocol, but they are digging deeper in an investigation report expected to be released at the end of the month.
“Due to the serious nature of the incident, we’re conducting a more fulsome review,” said Brian Harrison, director of urban health at Providence Health, the agency that operates St. Paul’s Hospital.
Nicholas Osuteye has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and one count each of assault and mischief after police say he beat and kicked three elderly women in apparently random attacks.
On Dec. 7, Osuteye was arrested in his underwear on the street near BC Place Stadium and appeared to be calmly chatting with officers after the incidents.
The three women were all hospitalized, two with life-threatening injuries. Vancouver Police say both of the most gravely injured now no longer need a ventilator to breathe, and one is mobile. The other cannot speak because of damage to her throat and a tube that is in place to help it heal.
Two days before the attack, Osuteye asked Vancouver police for help because he was concerned about his medication. The officers brought him to St. Paul’s Hospital. The hospital has confirmed that Osuteye saw a psychiatrist.
Harrison said the hospital cannot give information out because of doctor-patient confidentiality, but it has now given Mercy Osuteye a phone number for patient relations to see if they can arrange Nicholas Osuteye’s consent.
“I want to know what happened when he was taken to St. Paul’s,” she said. “I’m anxious and curious about it.”
Nicholas Osuteye’s brother Brian said he was surprised when he heard about what had happened on the news.
“This was unexpected. No one ever thinks they will see their brother on the news in a situation like this,” he said.
Osuteye’s mother said he is a graduate of the Unversity of Alberta and loved by friends and family. He was doing well until the death of his father five years ago, she said, adding she hopes his upcoming trial would show him to be a decent man with a mental illness.
“Even as a small child, I always asked him for help, for my homework or to play soccer. He’s my older brother. I love him to death,” Brian Osuteye said. “I’m terribly sorry for the pain caused right now.”
Mercy Osuteye said their family is doing well thanks to support from friends and family.
“This has been a nightmare and we’re coping as best as we can,” she said. “I think that at the end of the day everyone will see the other side of Nicholas.”
Osuteye will remain in custody at a psychiatric hospital until his next court appearance, January 31.