A Grand Forks woman accused in a January stabbing in Gyro Park has been seriously injured while being held in custody for a psychiatric assessment, her mother says.
Barbara Doran says her daughter Raven Chan was taken to the forensic psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam this month. On March 18 or 19, she picked a lock and got into a restricted area where she climbed a fence and then fell 13 to 15 feet (4 to 4.5 metres).
Doran says Chan, 24, fractured her spine, lacerated her liver, and broke her right ankle in three places. She was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, where she remains under guard. She had surgery on her ankle Wednesday, but Doran had not yet heard how she was doing.
Chan has been diagnosed with autism and has developmental disabilities and other disorders. She was charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after another woman was stabbed with a knife.
After her arrest, Chan was transferred from Grand Forks to the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver and then to the Alouette Correctional Centre for Women in Maple Ridge. A judge ordered her to undergo a 30-day psychological assessment to see if she is fit to stand trial. Doran says after a delay, she was sent to Coquitlam. But she says her daughter told her she was not trying to escape when she was injured.
“She said she was trying to get on the roof. She said ‘I had a dream about that roof, and that my father was up there.’ … I don’t think they’re really seeing how sick she is and I don’t know how they’re missing it.”
Doran says Chan told her she lay on the ground for 30 to 45 minutes before staff realized she was missing. When they found her, she wasn’t able to get up or walk.
Doran says her attempts to get information from the hospital have been frustrating. At one point she was erroneously told Chan had been discharged. She has since phoned to complain but hasn’t heard back.
She also says Chan initially refused to sign paperwork to consent to surgery. A social worker told Doran that Chan would be assessed by the hospital’s own psychiatric team and found incompetent if she didn’t sign.
Doran said she has been told the psychological assessment on her daughter ordered by the courts has been completed, but she doesn’t yet know its findings and Chan’s lawyer has not received it.
“I feel bad for Raven,” she says. “My fear is that she is going to end up being found guilty, going into the correctional system, and when she finally comes out she’ll be released into homelessness.
“I don’t know if she’s going to get the help she needs in the places she’s supposed to be getting it. So far it has not looked good.”
We have requested comment from the Corrections Service of Canada.