2 Investigates: Psychiatric patient goes missing from troubled San Leandro hospital
SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KTVU) - A Hayward man has been declared missing after he was released by medical staff at the troubled John George Psychiatric Emergency Room in San Leandro.
KTVU has profiled the facility, with employees and former patients describing appalling conditions and likening it to a clinic in a Third World Country.
Jason Morton, 44, hasn't been seen since May 11th, when he walked out the door wearing just his hospital clothing.
Ryan Morton is his brother.
"He's not afraid to walk for miles at a time. He's not afraid to get into vehicles with people and this is somebody who doesn't have the mental capacity to stay safe," he told KTVU.
It all started on May 8th when Jason was taken to the John George Psychiatric Emergency Room on a 51-50 hold after he allegedly threatened his brother.
51-50 refers to the California Welfare Code which allows someone to be taken in for psychiatric evaluation if they're deemed a danger to themself or others.
Ryan Morton told KTVU his brother has been on a downward mental health spiral for years.
"He's having more and more voices which the public does not see as normal, especially when you're arguing with yourself or you're becoming beligerant with yourself.:
Two days after he was brought to John George, he was released wearing just hospital garb.
His brother said he called John George to ask why, and says he was told by a nurse it was a mistake.
"When I spoke with the director, the director was more interested in getting that charge nurse's name for reprimand and said well that's not her call to make," he told KTVU.
Which goes to one of the criticisms KTVU has heard over and over about John George, that adminstrators are more concerned about protecting themselves than their patients.
Ryan Morton was asked if his brother has gotten help by going to John George.
"No. To my understanding they allow him to sleep and once he says OK I'm good. I'm not going to hurt myself. I'm not going to hurt anybody else, the doctors release."
Jason was spotted by San Leandro police on East 14th Street the day he was released, still in his hospital clothing and placed on a BART train to his care facility in Hayward, but never showed up.
He was found two days later at a 7-11 in Castro Valley and his brother returned him to Hayward.
But the next day he left again and hasn't been seen since.
Ryan Morton says Jason has been hearing voices, and his concern over his brother's safety is growing.
"I've seen the voices taking on a persona and it's getting very, very scary. It's to the point where I'm worried if he's gonna be found alive this time."
Back in 2014 KTVU reported on Jason when he was missing in Union City.
Jason's brother and others tell KTVU John George doesn't really treat patients, but simply stabilizing them to where they can be released.
Police sources tell KTVU they often pick up the same patient over and over again and take them to the revolving door at John George.
"I blame them for not giving patients the care they need when they come in," Ryan Morton told KTVU.
John George officials said they couldn't comment on specifics on Jason's case, but did say that staff members notify case managers when a patient is being released, but didn't say if that's by email, phone, or some other communication.
Meantime, police are asking anyone who sees Jason Morton to give them a call.