Woman finds mentally ill dad on sidewalk after hospital put him in wrong cab
DETROIT (FOX 2) - Rosalee Smith wants to know how her mentally ill father went missing after being discharged from Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Robert Hill was later discovered on a street corner, sleeping under a blanket as if he didn't have a home.
"I just want to know why this happened," Smith said. "It is horrible, disgusting. Is that what they do to mentally ill people or old people that have no say in the matter?"
Smith is the legal guardian of her 63-year-old father. As a bipolar schizophrenic, he refused treatment so she had him admitted to Detroit Receiving Hospital for medication and assessment.
Hill was there from Dec. 14 until Jan. 4. Because Rosalee works, like she has done before, she had the hospital staff place her father in a cab to drive him to her house where he lives.
"They make sure he gets in, they give me the cab number, they give me the information on how he is getting home and whoever I need to contact," she said.
But this time - something went wrong.
"They called me at 2:30 and asked me if he made it home," she said. "They told me that their staff had put him in Detroit City Cab 606. They gave me their information, I called them and they told me he was a no show and was never placed in 606 Detroit City Cab."
Rosalee immediately filed a missing person's report with Detroit police and began searching for her father. After she left church Sunday, she started looking at locations her father would frequent when he was in better health.
Then she spotted him at the corner of Chrysler and Mack sleeping under a blanket.
"He didn't know who I was, he barely spoke his name," she said. "They took his shoes, they stripped him naked. Somebody did place a blanket and food out there, but he is not homeless."
Rosalee called 911. Her father was disoriented and suffering from hypothermia and was rushed back to the hospital. Police started investigating what went wrong.
According to the report, her father was never placed in a Detroit City Cab like the hospital claimed. When officers looked at the video they saw a staff member place him into a gray Pacifica - another taxi service.
"Whoever brought him down they waited for the cab," Smith said. "The cab never showed up in their timeframe. So they flagged down another service, per the police, that had no knowledge of his home."
How the mentally ill man ended up on a street corner is unclear.
When FOX 2 reached out to a DRH spokesperson, she told us the patient was given a "safe discharge" but did not tell FOX 2 the name of the cab service that was actually used. Rosalee, though, has yet to hear from Detroit Receiving about this incident.
"[I'm speaking now for] the next person in the future, making sure they don't do this to anyone else," she said.
Her father is still hospitalized but has been upgraded to stable condition.