PSafe on Alert as Search for Escaped CVH Patient Continues
Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH) police are continuing their search for patient Adam Rattiner, who escaped from the Silver Street campus around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. Rattiner was admitted to the Hospital in June after being arrested at the University for the harassment of a student employee at Olin Library.
According to the Hartford Courant, Rattiner ran away from several Hospital staff members as they escorted him to a medical appointment on the CVH campus on Wednesday morning. For safety reasons, staff members are asked not to chase after patients who run away, but to immediately report the incident to the police.
Though the Middletown Police have since stopped their search, they initially assisted the CVH officers, utilizing police dogs and a teletype notification to alert law enforcement agencies across the country.
“[Rattiner] has not been located and there continues to be an active search,” said Spokesperson for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Jim Siemianowski. “The search has moved away from the area around the hospital.”
Siemianowski said that the Hospital also issued a “Silver Alert,” which sends information and a photo to media outlets through the state police. Though he declined to speak about Rattiner’s psychological condition due to patient privacy laws, he said that Rattiner is in need of treatment and encouraged people to take precautions.
“There’s reason for concern just because he left the hospital,” Siemianowski said. “The public should be cautious and if they believe they’ve seen him they should notify the police.”
Rattiner is described as white, with salt and pepper hair, hazel eyes, 5 feet and 9 inches tall, and weighing 219 pounds. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt, and a Yankees hat.
Police said that Rattiner has a history of assault and could potentially be a danger to himself and others, according to a report by The Middletown Press. Because of Rattiner’s previous arrest on campus, Public Safety (PSafe) sent out an email explaining the situation and providing a physical description.
“We just want to alert the community, especially because he was previously arrested on campus,” Director of Public Safety Dave Meyer said. “We wanted to make sure that students are aware of the situation, because students most likely won’t be checking the local news.”
Over the course of a couple of weeks during the summer, Rattiner harassed a Circulation Desk employee at Olin, according to University Librarian Patricia Tully.
“[Rattiner] came in and a student at the circulation desk helped him get to whatever he needed, and apparently he kind of got attached,” she said. “He wasn’t being hostile or anything, but he was being really attentive and coming in multiple times a day, looking for her outside of the library. It pretty quickly became apparent that he was paying unwanted attention and seeking her out, so Public Safety was called.”
Shortly after his arrest in June, PSafe notified the library that Rattiner had been admitted to CVH and would be there for at least several weeks. Tully added that they had not heard anything else until Wednesday, when they were notified that he had left the Hospital and might be headed back to the University campus.
Though the student no longer works in the library, Tully sent an email to library staff to inform them about the situation. Circulation supervisor Dianne Kelly forwarded the message to student employees.
“We sent an email out to all of [the circulation desk workers] with his picture, so everyone in the library has it,” Kelly said. “For their own safety, everyone needs to be aware of their surroundings. If he comes in, workers are to let us know and those are the only precautions we can take.”
Brittney McNab ’14, who is an Olin Circulation Desk employee, said that she was not very concerned by Kelly’s email or the Public Safety Alert.
“The only thing I’m worried about is that one night a week I work the midnight to 2:00 a.m. shift,” McNab said. “But even then if I saw someone who was doing something he’s not supposed to and who matched the description, I would just call PSafe. Hopefully everything will go smoothly.”
Anyone with information should contact the Middletown Police at 860-344-3200 or Wesleyan Public Safety at 860-685-2345.