Saturday, January 22, 2005

GM Employee Stabs Another Over Workplace Dispute

In Marion, IN on January 20th, Gary Thomas stabbed George Dyer just before 1 a.m. in the General Motors plant. In an apparent an argument over workplace conditions that escalated into a stabbing. Reportedly, both of the men became agitated because their jobs were interfering with one another.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Woman Abducted by Business Partner

A woman was kidnapped from the parking lot of her employment as she arrived to work by a man that she had a business acquaintance. The victim worked TADD Tech Temp Services at the Alamo Downs Business Park in San Antonio, TX. On January 13th, Richard Crespo, 42, had met her outside at 11 am where they had an altercation. Crespo allegedly brandished a gun and took her hostage by forcing her into a black mini-van. Witnesses state that they saw him hitting her and heard gunshots. The police soon found him and followed him to a motel where he held the victim hostage for over 18 hours. He released her before dawn but did not surrender himself till police tear-gassed his room 2 hours later. She had met him at a chess tournament and held helped in his enterprise selling chess items but he reportedly became obsessed with her, sending her flowers at least once a week and once 3 times in one day. She had reportedly tried to break off the relationship.

Even if they were not in an intimate relationship, the perpetrator believed that they were. The stalking and control behaviors are the same.

Supervisor Saves Employee from Assault

Again on January 9th, in Bridgeport, CT, there was an incident with no murders or injuries because a supervisor was able to prevent an employee from being attacked. Three teen-ager women went into a clothing store to threaten another teen-age cashier. The supervisor sent her into the back office and had to hold back the other young women from following. The assailants had been calling the store to see if the employee was working. One of them was previously an employee at the store but was fired after an altercation with the targeted worker.

Young Man Killed by Other Youth

In a truly tragic story, a young man, 18-year old Thanushan Jeyakumaran from Sri Lanka was abducted from a Toronto super-market where regularly worked double-shifts. At about 8:50 pm on January 14th, at least 3 assailants kidnapped him and took him to a near by park where they struck him repeatedly with sharp objects. He was left to bleed to death but was found about 20 minutes after the assault. However, he later died in the hospital. Several other young Sri Lankan Tamils were arrested for his murder in what the police believe was a gang hit. However, all associates and co-workers state that Jeyakumaran was not involve in any criminal activity and was known as a peacemaker. He worked constantly but sent 75% of his earning home to save for his parents to move to Canada.

This relates to the domestic violence threat to the workplace as it was an employee’s personal life or situation that led to the violence. Although it is unknown if the victim was aware of the danger, it is crucial for workers to feel comfortable in warning their employer about any concerns.

Employee Stabs Co-workers and Clients at Retirement Home

On Sunday, January 9th in Alexandria, VA, a worker attacked six people in a retirement home, injuring residents, co-workers and visitors. He was reported to keep repeating, "She didn't respect me," as he went on his rampage. Mustafa Mohamed, 30, was a housekeeping employee and at first appearance did not seem to be likely candidate for workplace violence. He was not experiencing any negative employment actions taken against him and had no incidents of violence from his criminal background check. However, looking into the case a little more closely reveals that Mohamed had been accused of assault before when he worked at a CVS store in 2003. Reportedly, a co-worker laughed at him for tripping over some boxes and then was assaulted, however those charges were dropped. Because there was no conviction, the pre-employment background check did not reveal the incident. No one was killed but one of the victims, whose neck was broken, remained hospitalized and another resident required 200 stitches. A visitor was able to spray him with pepper-spray, survive an knife attack and then convince him to sit down. At this point, he was reported to keep mumbling the word -“Respect.”

Again, this emphasizes the strongest prevention measure. It is not criminal background checks, it is not surveillance cameras or ID-controlled entries. It is creating and maintaining a healhty and respectful relations. Even if the workplace had such an environment, it is how the perpetrator feels that is the crucial factor.

Employee Plans Robbery of Bowling Alley

In a deadly combination of co-worker and stranger types of workplace violence, a clerk at Harpo's Lanes Bowling Alley in Kalamazoo, MI, was killed in a senseless robbery on January 9th. It was just before Noon when two men entered the facility wearing masks and carrying guns. They tied up three employees but then shot and killed 41-year-old Steven Kerr near the front counter. The gunman escaped but were later caught only to find a tragic twist to the story. An employee of the store, 17 year old Dominica Sims, was allegedly the one who devised the crime. The mother of 3-month old baby was working that morning and apparently knew where the business kept the deposits. She and a partner are held without bail while a third suspect is currently on the loose.

This demonstrates the frequent case of robberies and theft coming from a company’s own employees. A criminal background check would not have revealed any concerns as Sims had a clean record.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Estranged Husband Kills 3 in Tenn. State Garage

On Tuesday the 11th, three people were killed in a Tennessee Dept. of Transportation maintenance garage in Jackson. 40-year-old David Lynn Jordan entered the facility around 11:30 am where his estranged wife, Donna Jordan, 31, had worked. Along with murdering her, he killed two men, neither of whom worked in the building. One man, an employee of another state agency, was getting his truck fixed and the other man was delivering a package. Two garage workers were also seriously wounded but survived. The assailant fled the scene but was soon apprehended without incident a few miles away. In his pickup truck was found an arsenal including an SKS assault rifle with multiple clips, a 12-gauge shotgun and two semi-automatic handguns. He is held without bond with murder and attempted murder charges. He had a prior criminal history of domestic assault.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Woman escapes from kidnapper

A woman escaped after being held captive for three days by a man she had once dated. Lori S. Wagner, 41 worked as a dispatcher for Nu-Way Transportation Service where she met truck driver Michael J. Diekhoff, age 42. However, she later charged him with harassing phone calls and he is the prime suspect in an arson investigation surrounding an incident where home was set on fire. In Bloomington, IL., at approximately 6 am on January 6th, she was allegedly abducted from her company’s parking lot as she arrived for work. Co-workers called the police when her car and cell phone were found outside in the lot but she was not at her desk. She was taken across state-lines but escaped from his truck on January 8th in Sioux Falls, S.D. Diekhoff had previously served 10 years in an Indiana prison for attempting to murder a former girlfriend with a handgun.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Employee Stabs Co-worker in Chinese Restaurant

On December 22, Daxiang Ye, 23, reportedly stabbed a co-worker Ishmal Antemate, age 42. The assault occurred in the morning around 10 am at the Hong Kong Buffet in Wisconsin. The conflict has been described as a workplace dispute. Antemate was rushed to the hospital where he is in critical condition. Ye has been charged with aggravated battery and first degree recklessly endangering safety. He is being held on $50,000 cash bail and was forced to turn over his Chinese Passport.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

City Housing employee stabbed to death by resident

A resident and employee at the Chester Towers in Philadelphia was stabbed to death by a former neighbor. Jessie Wilson Anderson just started her shift as a recpetionist at the City Housing Authority office when David Alonzo Bentley came in and attacked her on the morning of August 26th. A worker, who was just finishing her shift, and an elderly resident were the only witnesses. They both claim that Bentley, who had recently moved out of the facility, walked in and immediately starting stabbing Anderson. He then left the scene in a calm manner. He was later apprehended and is charged with murder. Apparently, the two had confrontations before and Anderson’s sister claims that he had made previous threats to the victim. At the time of the incident, Bentley was currently out on bond while awaiting trial on another assault, this one against an elderly resident of the same apartment building.

Document from workplace violence trial points finger at pharmacutical company

A workplace violence case almost 16 years old has resurfaced in recent allegations against a pharmacutical company. Eli Lilly and Co. has come under increasing scrutiny for the reported side effects of its antidepressant Prozac. The British Medical Journal claims to have reportedly missing documents from a 1994 trial holding Lilly responsible for the murder of 8 people on september 14th, 1989. Joseph Wesbecker was a printing press operator who was on disability leave for mental health reasons. He was reportedly taking fluoxetine, the generic name for Prozac, when he returned to his company armed with an AK-47, two Mac-10s and two other pistols. He killed 7 co-workers, wounding 12 others (one of which later died 4 days later). He then killed himself.
In the subsequent civil trial, a 1988 document allegedly testifies to the risks of drug to increase suicidal and homicidal tendencies. The study illustrates that 1.6 percent of patients reported incidents of hostility, over twice the rate reported on tests with four other commonly used antidepressants. Additionally, 0.8 percent of users of Prozac reported to have caused an intentional injury, a figure that is eight times the rate associated with any of the other antidepressants. The plaintiff in the case, surviving members of one of the victims claimed that Eli Lilly had known about the side effects of increasing a user's propensity to violence. Lilly won the court case but was later forced to reveal that they secretly settled the suit.
A statement on the company's Web site states, "To our knowledge, there has never been any allegation of missing documents from the Wesbecker trial or any other trial involving Lilly. Further, it has always been Lilly's objective to publicly disclose data about both the safety and efficacy of fluoxetine."

UK Railroad Worker Assaulted

A Network Rail employee was stuck by a brick, causing a large wound that required treatment, although the injuries were not serious. The episode started at 9.30pm on December 29th when a teenager tried to assault him in the hut at crossing gates. The gatekeeper tried to restrain the youngster by pulling him into the hut, the 16-year-old's friend helped him escape. After the incident, a brick was thrown through the window, hitting the worker on the head. The youth was identified and the British Transport Police went to the teenager's home to arrest him however, during the visit, an officer was allegedly also assaulted by the suspect.
Deborah Richards, of Network Rail, said: “We take attacks against our staff very seriously and want to protect them from this unacceptable conduct. Our employees have the right to dignity at work and a workplace free from threats and violent or insulting behavior.” The company recently launched a campaign to try to crack down on abusive and violent behavior towards its employees.