ASH employees violently assaulted

December 20, 2012

An Atascadero State Hospital patient spent the night in San Luis Obispo County Jail following a violent assault on two ASH employees that left one in the hospital.

Two psychology technicians were attempting to break up an altercation involving two patients around 8 p.m. on Wednesday when Michael Lopez, 24, allegedly began pounding the workers, ASH sources say. One technician, who sustained multiple blows to the head, was transported to Twin Cities Hospital in Templeton. The other psychology technician sustained facial injuries and went home.

Sheriff deputies arrested Lopez for assault likely to result in great bodily harm.

On November 29, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health fined ASH $27,000 for frequent patient assaults on employees from January to September. In the three weeks since Cal/OSHA levied the fine, patients have injured six more employees, including the two injured Wednesday night that led to the arrest of Lopez.

The Cal/OSHA report explaining the $27,000 fine and two additional smaller fines stated that an average of 10 patient caused injuries occurred at ASH from January to September.

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I see nothing wrong with keeping chronically violent inmates drugged to the gills 24/7.

Looks like ASH may be getting closer to what it is going to take to solve the problem. This article appears to report that the assaults are becoming more violent and with that unfortunately someone may have to suffer the ultimate injury before something is really done.

The problem is treating ASH inmates as patients. They are violent criminals and should be treated as such. Are we really that dumb?