City Issues Alert on Patient ‘Dumping’
Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton and other city officials on Tuesday said that the city is putting all hospitals and ambulance companies on alert that it is illegal to dump patients downtown, in an area commonly called Skid Row, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Orlov, LA Daily News, 10/24).
The notice was announced in the wake of an investigation launched Sunday into the dumping of homeless people on Skid Row by an ambulance from nearby Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center. In interviews with police, the discharged patients said they were dropped off against their will (California Healthline, 10/24).
The hospital has released a statement denying the accusations, saying that the patients requested to be dropped off on Skid Row.
The two ambulance companies -- APT Ambulance Co. and Pro-Care Mobile Medical -- were caught on camera dumping five patients. Officials with both companies declined to comment (Los Angeles Daily News, 10/24).
Several broadcast programs reported on the criminal investigation into the dumping of homeless people:
- KCRW's "Which Way, L.A.?": Guests on the program included Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California (Olney, "Which Way, L.A.?," 10/24). Audio of the segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- KPCC's "KPCC News": The segment includes comments from Andrew Smith, captain of the Los Angeles Police Department's Central Division (Stoltze, "KPCC News," KPCC, 10/24). Audio of the segment is available online in RealPlayer.
- NPR's "All Things Considered": The segment includes comments from Jim Howatt, director of homeless services for the Volunteers of America Service Center; Jeff Isaacs, head of the Los Angeles City Attorney's criminal and special investigations unit; and Smith (Jaffe, "All Things Considered," NPR, 10/24). Audio and a transcript of the segment are available online.