Apr 19, 2014
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AG investigates how man seeking psychiatric care came to be paralyzed while in custody
Ornelas came back to Elliot Hospital by ambulance from Hillsborough County jail in serious condition with a broken neck. He was transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston where he has been in the intensive care unit on a breathing tube for the last week, family members said.
The Attorney General's office will work with Hillsborough County Attorney's office and state police on the probe. It will begin once an investigative team is assembled, she said.
On Monday, Dionne said he was conducting an investigation and creating a timeline of events since Fern Ornelas was brought to Elliot Hospital emergency department the night of Oct. 15 for a mental health episode until the county jail sent him back to Elliot by ambulance sometime between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Oct. 17.
Family members claim county corrections, police and Elliot have neither provided them nor MGH with information about when and how Fern Ornelas' neck was broken.
Pappas said commissioners would have to vote as a body to set a deadline on when Dionne must present the findings of his internal investigation and timeline to them.
Fern Ornelas is accused of attacking an Elliot security officer about 7:25 p.m. Oct. 16. He was a patient in the Elliot secure psychiatric evaluation unit waiting for a bed to open at New Hampshire Hospital, the state's acute psychiatric hospital.
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