Press Release 3/19/13
On March 18that about 6:50 PM the Ukiah Police Department received a call from the Ukiah Valley Medical Center, for a 39 year old male Emergency Room patient who had forcefully pulled the I.V. from himself and fled the facility. The subject had been detained earlier in the day by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office as a threat to others due to a medical condition, as he had apparently threatened to kill somebody. The subject had been released to the custody of the Mendocino County Mental Health Department, an employee of which had been accompanying the subject while being cleared for further treatment by hospital staff. The subject had been in physical restraints earlier as he had displayed tendencies towards violence with those treating him, but apparently patients are required to remain unrestrained for a certain period of time before being transported to a separate facility for further treatment. It was during this period of being unrestrained that the patient fled the hospital facility.
Ukiah Valley Medical Center staff, along with the Mental Health worker, followed the patient, who was now naked, as he walked along Hospital Drive then headed west on Perkins Street. A responding Ukiah Police Sergeant encountered the patient on Perkins Street, and saw the naked patient had blood on his hands and arms, and was bleeding profusely from his groin area. The sergeant deduced the patient had not removed his I.V. but had actually forcefully removed his catheter causing himself serious injury, which was later confirmed by medical staff. The sergeant attempted to communicate with the patient, who was larger in stature then the sergeant, and he refused the sergeant’s commands to stop and continued walking at the sergeant while displaying a blank stare.
The sergeant was the only officer on scene at the time, and deployed his Taser at the subject and requested emergency back-up. The subject fell to the ground briefly but quickly tried to remove the Taser probes from his body while attempting to stand up. The sergeant activated his Taser again at the subject, who responded the same and who was able to eventually remove a Taser probe and start running. A second officer arrived and also deployed his Taser at the subject, who again fell. A third Ukiah Police Officer as well as Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived and struggled with the subject but eventually got him restrained in handcuffs. An ambulance was requested for the subject’s injuries, and he was returned to the Ukiah Valley Medical Center. The Mental Health worker had since left, so another call-out to Mental Health was initiated by the Ukiah Police Department, and a different worker arrived within approximately one-half hour to resume responsibility for the subject. Charges of resisting or delaying a peace officer are being sought against the subject by the Ukiah Police Department with the District Attorney’s Office.
Prepared by Captain Justin Wyatt
Chris DeweyPRESS RELEASE
Chief of Police
300 Seminary Avenue | Ukiah, California 95482 Telephone: 463-6262 | Fax: (707) 462-6068 | www.cityofukiah.com