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Montreal psych hospital probing alleged attack by teenage patients

MONTREAL — The administration of a maximum security psychiatric hospital in Montreal has launched an investigation after several employees were allegedly injured by a group of teenage patients who reportedly plotted an attack.


July 24, 2018
By The Canadian Press

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Karine Cabana with the hospital workers’ union said Tuesday her members reported that the teenagers conspired last Friday to stage a fight in a common area of a ward in order to draw the attention of security guards.

She said the guards were able to get the fracas under control, but three or four of them were injured.

“We have information that a group of teenagers plotted together to simulate a fight in the courtyard to get attention,” Cabana said. “The plot was partly foiled and it could have been a lot more serious if it hadn’t been.”

Cabana said the hospital has launched a joint investigation with the union to determine the sequence of events.

Montreal’s Institut Philippe-Pinel treats teenagers and adults suffering from serious mental health issues, as well as people with violent and sexually offensive behaviour.

Pinel spokeswoman Julie Benjamin said in an email the patients “all have in common an elevated potential for dangerousness and violence.”

Most of the residents are detained at Pinel by court order, she said.

But what happened Friday was “exceptional,” she added.

“In a psychosis, a patient could fall victim to hallucinations and can become dangerous to himself and those around him,” she said. “However, when a group of patients organize — which is what happened last week — it’s exceptional. This case requires all of our attention.”

Cabana said the union is hoping the investigation will demonstrate guards need more protective equipment and the institution needs better security procedures.

She said the injuries reported by her members included bruising and broken ribs, but she couldn’t provide further details.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2018