Man attacks staff member at QEH emergency department

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FILE PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth Hospital's emergency department.

Facing charges of assault, damage to property, breaking court order

A man attacked a staff member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital emergency department Friday, landing himself in trouble with the law.

Charlottetown Police Services went to the department after being called to the scene and arrested a 29-year-old Charlottetown-area man, said a statement issued by police.

The man faces charges of assaulting a staff member of the hospital, plus charges of damaging property there and failing to live up to a previous order from a court.

"No significant injuries were incurred as a result of the assault," said the police report.

The man will be appearing in provincial court at a later date.

Organizations: Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Police Services

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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  • An opinion
    March 26, 2016 - 11:32

    And sometimes it is the approach of the staff that can escalate or deflate a situation. Having worked in a hospital setting , I have seen this on countless occasions. Can you imagine if we charged every Alzheimer patient, or those who are in a delusional state, or what have you? Face it , there are SOME staff members who may need a some education in handling patients to, and some who need an attitude adjustment themselves. Thank goodness for those who have empathy, and can divert situations and do their job well. We have all heard some negative stories and encounters stemming from hospitals if we are honest. After all, its variable human beings looking after other human beings. Some may react well, others not so much.

  • Quiet Observer
    January 12, 2016 - 11:46

    It has only very, very recently been established that addiction is a mental disorder. It is not a social disorder. Unfortunately, not everyone within the "system" comprehends this and what the implications of this are. There are still those "old school" people within the system who treat addiction as a social disorder and as long as these people are in positions of influence, the proper handling of addiction on PEI is a long way away. What is going to happen as soon as we get some lawyers who understand that addiction is a mental disorder (like other mental illnesses), that it is going to become a defense under section 16(1) of the criminal code (what most of us consider the not guilty because of mental illness defense). Fact is, a person heavily addicted to opiates or cocaine or other such drug in fact does not realize that what they are doing is wrong or illegal - the drug addiction has so taken over their mind that the only thing that matters to them is doing whatever it takes to get those drugs - steal, mug, whatever. They do not consider what they are doing to wrong - in their minds anything they do to get the drugs is right and the only thing that is right. Once this defense is argued and won, and it is going to happen, then our governments will finally be forced to treat addicts in a way that will help them. Locking them up does not deal with the addiction. yes, it satisfies those who "want blood" for the crimes committed, but it is not going to deal with the addiction problems and these people are extremely likely to re-offend upon their release.

  • Hazel
    January 12, 2016 - 09:07

    Very unfortunate incident. While questions about security are genuine concerns, my concern is lack of services on PEI for people suffering from mental health issues or addiction issues. But then put the two together in these dual diagnoses cases and our services are seriously lacking. We all know funds for mental health issues and addiction issues are seriously lagging behind the times. When you see all the money government spends on bricks and mortar just to brag about their state of the art QEH facility and their understaffed services and their psychiatric unit remains hidden in the basement without the money to properly run a unit and beds are at a minimum. It is the same for community services. There is a huge shortage of staff to take care of the needs of the community. Mental health and addiction issues have increased yet services have lagged behind. These services have always been the poor cousin as far as being given enough money to function and continue to be so. We need a new state of the art facility to handle these serv ices, so lets demand our goverment step up to the plate for this vulnerable population and stop giving our taxpayer money away to their friends and their gambling schemes.

  • A Patient Patient
    January 12, 2016 - 00:27

    Assault is a punishable offence no matter who strikes at another, nor the reason. Everyone who enters the Q.E.H. Emergency Room seeking urgent medical treatment usually has to wait unless in critical condition and in immediate need of life-saving medical interventions. For example, someone involved in a head-on car collision and has severe trauma and wounds that need immediate treatment will be seen ahead of someone who is having an anxiety attack. because they eye-witnessed the head-on car collision. A severe anxiety attack is classified as a mental health issue. That patient would need some talk therapy and a tranquilizer would help to overcome the anxiety of the shock.. A temper tantrum type of response to a situation that is moving in a way someone doesn't agree with, thus he enacts physical aggression and strikes someone,, is not necessarily a mental health illness. There is a significant difference between a character deficit where someone grows angry over a long wait time and grows physically abusive AND a mental health illness such as severe breakdown, blank mind and loss of verbal communication to explain due to loss of ability to process information, speak, catatonic blankness. This is a real meltdown. Throwing fists and shouting in anger is more likely a character deficit, not a mental illness. It's not every nation on earth that has Emergency Units of the quality of the Q.E.H. Some have no hospitals at all. Be thankful. Be patient. Behave yourself.

  • don
    January 11, 2016 - 22:00

    where is the new super security that wade hired? or did he keep the best to protect him and gave the left overs for the people??

  • laurent Beaulieu
    January 11, 2016 - 21:00

    The Guardian should have reported this story differently, if the person in question has a mental health issue then he cannot control his behaviour. It is not an excuse as some believe but a serious condition that needs medical attention. Prison time does nothing to help someone suffering from mental illness. Let the professional handle this medical matter. Education and understanding from all is required.

    • Louann
      January 12, 2016 - 08:55

      You are incorrect ! Most people are aware of their behaviour , and use it to get the attention they seek by repetitive behaviour and use the excuse to do damage and threaten people .(Drug induced psychosis folks are not aware , or schniophrenias who are off there antipsychotics.) We are dealing with axis I I , personalitity DO by the sounds of this . Don't give the same stroke of paint to all people who fall under the " mental illness ", Comes down to this if one wants help,and needs help you do not put holes in the hospital walls or attack the people who are assisting you , no friggen excuse ! Strangely , no one thinks of " the victims " of this person. Prison helps with the behaviour, and they get the meds that should be taken under supervision. behaviour is learned, and can be unlearned . That's t What CBT and DBT is for .

  • Indigo
    January 11, 2016 - 20:58

    I am puzzled, do you become mentally ill first or do you become a drug addict first? They seem to go hand in hand, - so which do we try to cure first? Everybody and his brother seem to be an addict or mentally ill these days. What is a root cause (Trudeau) of this?

    • GetEducated
      January 12, 2016 - 05:42

      Ask all your friends that smoke and drink. Every single person who is over prescribed or abuses painkillers will become addicted. Ask the doctors on PEI....they have created these addictions but most refuse to deal with them.

  • Louann
    January 11, 2016 - 19:04

    It doesn't make a difference if this person has mental illness or addictions. No one has the right to assault another. The staff has the right to work in a safe environment !!! When a violent person assaults health care workers there should be NO excuses and prison time to be served . The health care folks have a right to go home to their families Unhurt . This behaviour should not be tolerated or accepted . Luckily it wasn't me,this client met up with otherwise this person would not see the light of day , for years .

  • Louannmac
    January 11, 2016 - 19:03

    It doesn't make a difference if this person has mental illness or addictions. No one has the right to assault another. The staff has the right to work in a safe environment !!! When a violent person assaults health care workers there should be NO excuses and prison time to be served . The health care folks have a right to go home to their families Unhurt . This behaviour should not be tolerated or accepted . Luckily it wasn't me,this client met up with otherwise this person would not see the light of day , for years .

  • Sophie
    January 11, 2016 - 15:40

    That man is my brother, and no matter how strange he is acting, I do believe you should mention the fact that he is mentally ill and a struggling addict. I'm not angry, I'm just a bit upset that you didn't consider that the attacker has family and some of that family is going through a hard time at the moment anyway, without the Guardian posting an article with lack of details, and said article being shared around and read by everybody.

    • redsandboy
      January 11, 2016 - 19:07

      They are only posting the facts! Not the excuses. You make them in court

    • izzy
      January 11, 2016 - 20:03

      The "article" is little more than a police statement. You'd actually prefer your brother's name, drug addictions, and mental state published for all to see? In a difficult time like this, I sure wouldn't want to be dealing with any publicity.

    • Sarah
      January 11, 2016 - 20:04

      You’ve made an incredible point here, Sophie. It’s difficult enough trying to support a family member with mental illness. It’s made that much harder when details of that illness need to be broadcast to the world. Perhaps it’s time to look at allowing some privacy in cases where health issues are the root of the problem.

    • Josh
      January 11, 2016 - 20:25

      So does the hospital staff member who got assaulted by your brother. Not to mention that your brother could have hurt someone more vulnerable like a baby or a senior who wouldn't have had a chance. Great security over there at the QEH eh?

    • anon 2
      January 11, 2016 - 21:26

      Sophie, my dear, most people do not understand mental illness. People get scared and become reactionary. They say mean things out of fear. This is not an attempt to be mean or to be rude, even though that's how it may come across. It just shows the need to continue to educate and increase awareness. It's sad and unfortunate that in this day and age, access to mental health treatment is not as easy and streamlined as it should be. It often means people, who are struggling in one way or another, find it harder and harder to cope. Sometimes things like this happen--maybe it'll help him get the services he needs sooner. In terms of the story, the Guardian does not always have a way to access all the information because of confidentiality. It's rare to ever find a news story that contains all the information. Don't lose sleep over it--go take care of your family!

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    January 11, 2016 - 15:33

    Where were all those highly trained new an improved commissionaires at when this was taking place