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Kearns may sue to keep WNY Children's Psych Center open

State Assemblyman Michael P. Kearns said Wednesday said an adult Buffalo Psychiatric Center patient accused of attacking three workers at the center 11 days ago remains in jail, and he's considering suing the state to preventĀ Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo from closing the Western New York Children's Psychiatric Center and moving the children there to a children's unit in the adult psychiatric facility.

Kearns used the Freedom of Information Law to obtain from Buffalo Police reports about the March 25 attacks on a registered nurse and two mental health therapy aides in a dining room at the Buffalo psychiatric facility.

The records show that the 29-year-old female psychiatric patient was charged with two counts of second-degree assault, three counts of third-degree assault and three counts of second-degree harassment.

According to police records, the suspect approached a female therapist in her ward's dining room, splashed her with orange juice and began punching her in the face. That prompted a female registered nurse to come over to stop the attack, but the suspect repeatedly punched her and broke several of her ribs, police said. A male therapist began to restrain the suspect, only to be allegedly bit by her on his right forearm.

The nurse was taken to the Erie Country Medical Center for treatment of cracked ribs. The male therapist was treated at the ECMC emergency room. The female therapist was treated at Kenmore Mercy Hospital for a shoulder injury she suffered when the suspect knocked her to the floor, according to the police documents.

A Buffalo News check confirmed the suspect remained Wednesday in the Erie County Holding Center.

Kearns seeks to halt plan to close Children's Psych Center

Kearns, contacted in Albany Wednesday, said his attempt to stop the closing of the children's psychiatric facility in West Seneca "does not look good."

Kearns said if he cannot get the State Legislature to cut off funding for the proposed closing of the children's facility he may file a lawsuit to stop the move. Kearns said State Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, has expressed an interest in joining him in such a court case. Gallivan could not be reached to comment Wednesday.

Opposition remains to moving juvenile patients to Buffalo Psychiatric Center

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