Another attack at Napa State Hospital

December 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
There are more problems at the Napa State Hospital. A worker was badly beaten on Saturday and it is the second attack in four days by the same patient.

The hospital is still on lockdown after a staffer was murdered in October and there has been a slightly elevated police presence at the front gate all day on Saturday, but employees say none of that is enough.

The attacks have staffers even more on edge. On Wednesday, a custodian was hit and knocked unconscious by a patient. Sources tell ABC7 Sean Bouchiet is the one responsible. And then on Saturday morning there was another attack occurred on a rehabilitation therapist, or R.T.

"The same person that committed the crime against the custodian was out with the R.T. The R.T. was beat up by this patient that beat the custodian the other day," says nurse Mary Hall.

Bouchet is in the Napa County jail charged with assault. These attacks come less than two months after the murder of psychiatric technician Donna Gross. Her accused killer is patient Jess Massey.

"We have all been on heightened sense of alertness after what happened to Donna and all of our members have been doing their best to remove themselves from any situation that could be potentially fatal or dangerous," says AFSME Representative Zach Hatton.

Flowers are placed on the hospital's front lawn as a reminder of the Oct. 23rd strangulation. Staffers also hope they will remind management of the safety concerns they continue to have while on the job.

Hospital management would not speak with ABC7 on camera, but released a statement saying, "Napa State Hospital immediately added additional measures for escorting patients about the grounds. The incident will continue to be investigated by hospital police."

When asked how she felt about her safety at the hospital, Hall says, "Scared, I'm scared. I'm scared every day."

Patients beating staffers is not a new problem here. ABC7 obtained a photo of a psych technician with a swollen eye after her attack took place two years ago. Employees say they continue to demand more police presence and faster response times.

"It's dangerous and we are losing control. We've lost control. We're in a war zone, basically we're in a war zone," says Hall.

Recently, staffers were given new personal alarms to wear at work. It is not clear if any of the victims were wearing them at the time of the attacks.

The therapist who was attacked on Saturday is in serious condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

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