Blakeslee: Violent ASH assault could have been prevented

August 27, 2011

Desmond Jovan Watkins

Senator Sam Blakeslee said the violent assault of a female psychiatric technician at Atascadero State Hospital should have been prevented.

“The violent beating of a female psych tech on Wednesday night could have, and should have, been avoided,” Sen. Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo said in a statement Friday.

“The offender responsible for this attack had made explicit threats against this employee and had a well-established record of violence. The victim should never have been exposed to this patient.”

On Wednesday evening, ASH patient Desmond Jovan Watkins, 34, allegedly assaulted the unnamed tech who suffered a serious head injury and a broken facial bone.

Watkins is accused of committing two felonies — battery with serious injury and force likely to produce great bodily injury.

“This week’s assault underscores the urgent need for reforms to ensure the most dangerous offenders will be swiftly returned to a correctional facility once violent and assaultive behavior becomes evident,” Blakeslee added.

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I would assume that Desmond will have his to to cut off.


What’s going on @ ASH??? After ther first 20 or so beatings you’d think they’s change their M.O. These are killers and rapists with a nutbag rating!! They’re worse than other rapists and murderers if that’s possible.

I think the staff mentality is something like “we are in control and we can change these people cuz we’re highly trained professionals”, That’s crapola.

Either find a way to isolate these worst of the worst dangers to society or lock ’em up. If I had a family member hurt up there at this point in time after all these attacks, I’d sue the hell outa the state.

Too many psychologists pretending they can “fix” these wackos therefore validating they’re qualifications probably. Who knows, it is a nuthouse after all.

I agree with justme

In the earlier years when someone was insane, they were unable to care for themselves nor do anything intentionally harmful to anyone else.

I think that before anyone can be declared legally insane, an examination under truth serum should be required.

Myself personally, I don’t have time to give any consideration to a person assumed insane trying to kill me!

He is either insane or criminal and should reap the correct consequences of one or the other and not the hybrid term coined “criminally insane”.

Our laws and tax dollars protect him, do anything different and you will be behind bars.

I have to wonder why women are attending to these violent male criminals to begin with? A woman has absolutely no defense against a man who is out to harm her, she is easily incapacitated or taken hostage and will sustain far greater incapacitating injuries when she is battered than a man will. I’m not saying that a man should be subjected to possible assault either but someone has to tend to these violent criminals. I believe they will think twice before battering another man and a man can at least defend himself even if he does take an unexpected blow. Punch a man in the face or stomach and he can usually come right back at the assailant, do that to a woman and she is going down for sure. Sending a woman to do a man’s job makes so sense.

I have to agree with you here, cindy.

This is a job better suited for men with a body size able to handle violent offenders. These are the worst of the worst and have a unstable mental capacity judged by the court, “able to harm themselves or others”…

They used to call it The Atascadero State Hospital for the Criminally Insane for a very good reason.

Why was not a male guard/psych tech not present with the female to assure her safety?

As typoqueen mentioned, it’s about cut backs. Frankly there should always be a guard when a practitioner is administrating care to a violent mentally unstable criminal. To the extent that they apparently don’t have the staff available to operate in pairs, I would expect that only men would be working solo in certain area’s or at least the unstable types would be secured (both hands) prior to a women caregiver encountering these violent inmate’s within a close proximity. It amazes me that they didn’t consider that he only needed one free arm to break her face.

Sorry cindy, but it is not about cut backs. It is all about bad hiring practices and PC mandates.

Two people having the same job at the same pay scale yet can not physically do the same work is not the same thing. Women have been mandated to be hired in many jobs they were never before hired into before. Police, fire and military are some of the dangerous work places women have been mandated to occupy, because of PC politcal reasons

I am all for equal rights but in the world of dangerous occupations equal means having a bigger stick or having 225 lb man vs a 100lb woman. I’m sorry but in a street fight you do not bring a knife you bring a gun…

No, when attending a violent crazy person it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or a women. In the case that I’ve brought up so manhy times, the nurse that was handing out the offender’s meds had always had two guards with violent offenders. Keep in mind one guard handles the doors as well as watches the prisoner. Whether it be a male nurse or a female nurse they need two guards as opposed to one guard when dealing with these people. Even if it had been a male nurse he would be busy making sure the guy got the right meds, examining the patient and perhaps making a note or two for the records. A male nurse is not a guard, you can’t expect them to do double duty. They need to go back to two guards for violent offenders. Are you going to start asking that the doctors also act as guards? It’s not right to expect medical personal to also act as guards along with their regular duties.

I certainly do not expect doctors or nurses to become guards, by I do expect the state to treat these violent felons as just that dangerous, violent and mentally disturbed criminals.

I do not think budget cutting should mean leaving violent criminals unguarded, nor do I think having female employees in this type of environment is wise.

Once again certain occupations are best suited to the male species and this is one of them…

Sexual Discrimination much???

I’ll bet this has more to do with budget cutbacks than whether this guy is housed at ASH. These prisoners have to come in some type of contact with other humans. When you have violent crazy people coming into contact with other people no matter what kind of facility it is they will find a way to harm others. The last two incidents that I’ve brought up here (I spare you all from hearing them again) where prison staff were injured it was due to cutbacks. Both of the victims in these other incidents were both psych techs/nurses as well. They’ve had to cut back the amount of guards that protect the rest of the staff from these people.

Re-figure the finances, do some cutting back, get rid of the waste and frivolous law suites but don’t cut back at the expense of human life. We need more guards.

The cost to the taxpayer to “rehabilitate” these felons at ASH is approximately $220,000 a year. That’s right $220,000. That may be going up a little as there are plans to reduce the population which would cause the cost to go up per “inmate.”

Don’t you think that for that amount of money that SOME security could be provided?

Eventually it will probably be an assault that results in a fatality that will bring about the results that should have been in place years ago.

So nothing will happen to him. He’s insane and can’t help himself… but I think a pair of shackles might have helped!

I don’t think anyone could argue Sam’s words on the subject but I’m guessing they just gave the green light to a multi-million dollar lawsuit. The victim just won the Lotto!

If your idea of living with something like PTSD or/and some other type of permanent physical disability is the Lotto then yes, some people deserve the Lotto.

Bob, I hope you re-think your comment, and perhaps retract it? What an insult to the woman who was so severely injured.

And that was with the guy just having one hand free.

If a man had been attending to this patient, he probably wouldn’t have had any broken bones like the woman sustained. He probably wouldn’t have any PTSD to deal with either. Woman should not be directly administering care to these patients.

When are people going to accept the hard cold facts, that most all of these people at ASH and others like, CAN’T be rehabilitated!!! Why do we waste are time, money and good people being injured on a lost cause. I say make a special place for this kind of violent criminals, where they are in a CELL and not roaming free and guarded by people with GUNS and not by people with nothing more to protect themselves but nice words for the perp to calm down.

I am TIRED of watching out for the criminals and protecting their rights. It is time to protect the rights of their victums and the rights of those assigned to watch over these pieces of crap!!!

I agree, wholeheartedly!

People like Watkins (and a few other ones out there) should just be taken out to sea and dumped. The millions spent for nothing could be better served.

Surfrider Foundation wouldn’t allow it. Maybe we could haul ’em to Yucca Mountain and bury them with the other waste.

Jeeze, I hate being the devil’s advocate on this, but I have to say this:

The people at ASH weren’t raised in a vacuum. There are reasons for why they are so screwed up.

We’ve been dealing with the crack babies for a decade or more by now, but every time a new horror hits our society, you can start counting the years until we start seeing the effects that are occurring to the babies.

I think of all of the families who are really facing hard times, many homeless for the first time in their lives.

The folks who think because in their little corner of the world all is good are very short-sighted.

The sad thing is this: there are many previously injured workers from ASH, Patterson, etc. who, every time they hear one of these hell stories, kicks off their own PTSD again.