East Naples health care patient dumped 100 miles away

Published: Updated:

EAST NAPLES, Fla.- Workers took a patient against his will from the Willough psychiatric hospital and left him more than a 100 miles away at a Sarasota homeless shelter, the Sarasota Police Department said.

On May 16, Chad Stacy, 34, says he was told by two Willough’s employees “his time was up and it was time for him to pack up his belongings,” before he was dropped off at a Salvation Army in Sarasota, police said.

“They surrounded me, threatened to call the police on me if I didn’t get my stuff and get ready to go,” Stacy told authorities.

Once at the Salvation Army, Stacy says he was turned away because of his sexual offender status, Sarasota police said.

“I didn’t just come here to be homeless on my own terms,” Stacy said.

He was left wandering the streets for hours in the city unknown to him until he called authorities asking for help. Sarasota officials ended up transporting Stacy, who was suffering from high blood pressure and anxiety as a result of the incident, to the hospital multiple times in the following days.

Days later, Sarasota police officers also aided Stacy in getting a bus ticket home to Ohio through the Salvation Army.

Following the incident, Sarasota city manager Tom Barwin wrote a scathing letter to state health officials saying the Willough’s employees’ actions displayed a “major breach of ethical treatment standards.”

Barwin added the Willough did not contact the city or Salvation Army previously to arrange additional treatment for Stacy before he was “literally dumped in Sarasota.”

The city manager is requesting the Willough pay the city back as a result of the facilities “questionable and disturbing actions.” Barwin says the facility should be responsible for the costs incurred from Stacy’s multiple hospital visits, reconnecting Stacy with his family, and the city’s overall expense in dealing with the situation.

In his letter to the state, Barwin also admitted he was troubled by what seemed to be a common practice by Willough staff in “discharging-transporting troubled patients.”

WINK News researched the Willough and found out the facility has paid almost $20,000 in fines for violations in the past five years. The facility refused to comment on the situation Friday.

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