NAPA - It is routine for Napa State Hospital (NSH) police officers to respond to crimes, including acts of violence, committed inside NSH, but two weeks in April were particularly busy with felony arrests.
"Our hospital police officers aren't dealing with frail, physically ailing patients," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "They are dealing with criminals, most of them with extremely violent histories, who have been sent to the hospital rather than prison by the courts for psychiatric treatment. Remove the sugar-coating, state hospitals are like prisons minus the cell blocks."
According to Napa County Jail online records, on April 9, 2015, NSH police arrested Joseph Loring Pavan, 32, on felony attempted murder, assault and battery charges after Pavan allegedly attempted to kill another patient by choking him with an electrical cord. The victim-patient lost consciousness and was taken to a medical facility in Napa for treatment. Pavan was taken to the Napa County jail upon his arrest, has pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains in custody at the county jail.
According to Napa County Jail online records, on April 14, 2015, NSH police arrested Scott Ray Patchell, on felony assault and false imprisonment charges. Patchell remains in custody at the Napa County jail.
According to Napa County Jail online records, on April 16, 2015, NSH police arrested Armando Acosta Rodriguez, 69, on four felony counts including attempted rape, sexual battery, and false imprisonment. Rodriguez, a convicted rapist, allegedly tried to rape a NSH employee. Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains in custody at the Napa County jail where he was transported upon his arrest.
According to Napa County Jail online records, on April 20, 2015, NSH police officers arrested Brian Francis Lungren, 31, on at least four felony counts including assault and assault to commit mayhem. Lungren was sent to NSH in 2008, after he allegedly stabbed someone and found not guilty by reason of insanity.
"There is a demonstrated need for state hospital police officers and yet there is a shortage of them as they are not being paid comparable to what other police officers are being paid," said Barcelona. "State hospital police officers are leaving for other law enforcement agencies, creating a shortage of officers at state hospitals which is requiring an exhausting amount of overtime for those officers who remain. This needs to be rectified and we will continue to press for improvements. In addition, hospital police officers transport these dangerous suspects to the county jail while unarmed. This is a safety issue for the officers themselves, hospital staff, and members of the community in which the officers transport these dangerous individuals. "