Canada: Rosie DiManno: Zhebin Cong’s flight from CAMH — and Canada — leaves more questions than answers - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaRosie DiManno: Zhebin Cong’s flight from CAMH — and Canada — leaves more questions than answers

07:35  18 july  2019
07:35  18 july  2019 Source:   thestar.com

Patient at Toronto hospital missing for 2 weeks has fled Canada

Patient at Toronto hospital missing for 2 weeks has fled Canada Toronto police tell Global News Zhebin Cong boarded an international flight the same day he was reported missing. We are working with international law enforcement agencies on next steps. This is an ongoing investigation.

Meanwhile in Canada . Entertainment. Arts . Rosie Dimanno . Toronto Star Column Defends Racist Logos By Being Weirdly Racist. Military’ s 4-Year War On Sexual Misconduct Hasn't Solved Much . Scheer Accuses Liberals Of ‘Trying To Import’ Abortion Fight From U. S .

The deputy attorney general at the center of former FBI director James B. Comey’ s firing made a surprise appearance on Capitol Hill on Thursday, arriving as Senate Democrats were demanding a reckoning over his role in the ouster but leaving more questions than answers in his wake.

Rosie DiManno: Zhebin Cong’s flight from CAMH — and Canada — leaves more questions than answers © Provided by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited Zhebin Cong was found not criminally responsible of second-degree murder at trial in the 2014 killing of roommate San Tai Yuan and had been held the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ever since. He was last seen on July 3, and police now believe he has fled Canada.

(Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.)

I once escaped from CAMH. Of course, I wasn’t a “not criminally responsible” murderer who’d hacked a man to death with a meat cleaver. Just run of the mill suicidal.

Man who poses 'significant threat' to public left Canada on flight while on community pass

Man who poses 'significant threat' to public left Canada on flight while on community pass A man found not criminally responsible in a 2014 stabbing death left Canada on an international flight earlier this month while on an unaccompanied community pass, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto has confirmed.

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Rosie DiManno is a columnist who writes about current affairs and sports. Nomination — National Newspaper Award, International Reporting (2006). Winner — B'nai Brith Canada , Award of Distinction for Excellence in Journalism (2002).

Simply walked out of locked-down security by mingling with a group of visiting nursing students as they departed.

In bare feet. Nobody noticed.

First stop: Eaton Centre. “Need shoes,” I told the salesperson, stating the obvious. Paid with the credit card stuffed in my back pocket. Everything else, including footwear, had been left in my room. Have to seize the opportunity when it arises.

I was never a danger to anybody else. That is emphatically not true of Zhebin Cong.

The 48-year-old was found not criminally responsible of second-degree murder at trial in the 2014 killing of roommate San Tai Yuan and has been at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health ever since.

At his most recent annual hearing before the Ontario Review Board three months ago, the board concluded, “We find that Mr. Cong continues to pose a significant threat to the safety of the public. The evidence amply supports this finding.”

Doug Ford's 'Nutcase' Remark About Mental Health Detainee Crossed A Line: MPP

Doug Ford's 'Nutcase' Remark About Mental Health Detainee Crossed A Line: MPP TORONTO — An Opposition MPP is slamming Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s comments about a mentally ill patient as “derogatory” and unhelpful. Thursday morning, Ford called into a Toronto talk radio show to talk about Zhebin Cong, a patient at the city’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) who was found not criminally responsible for the 2014 murder of his roommate. 

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According to that document, obtained by the Star, the detention would remain in place for another year. “Without the oversight of the hospital ... we find that it is more probable than not that Mr. Cong will again stop taking prescribed medication and stop essential mental health care and risk management followup, will suffer a relapse of his illness with acute psychotic symptoms, and will engage in seriously harmful criminal conduct.’’

This is the same Cong who escaped CAMH two weeks ago and then got on a plane for parts unknown, although probably aiming for China, where he was born. Cong immigrated to Canada in 2010 as a permanent resident.

Yet police didn’t reveal that Cong had lammed it until just this past Monday, and even then didn’t mention that Cong had fled CAMH or that he was dangerous, blandly informing the public only that he was last seen in the area of Queen St. W. and Ossington around 4 p.m. on July 3, with a description provided.

Toronto police chief announces two investigations in case of man who fled CAMH and Canada

Toronto police chief announces two investigations in case of man who fled CAMH and Canada Toronto police have launched two investigations into how a Centre of Addiction and Mental Health patient who killed his roommate with a meat cleaver in 2014 was able to leave the country. Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said in a statement Thursday that they received a report from CAMH on July 3 that Zhebin Cong, who was found “not criminally responsible” for second-degree murder, had not returned to the centre after going out on an unaccompanied public pass. The pass was allowed by the terms of his Ontario Review Board disposition. Saunders said they were told the man was “low risk” to public safety and himself.

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Only on Tuesday did police provide further details in a statement to some reporters who’d inquired: “The Toronto Police Service has now confirmed that Zhebin Cong has fled the country. He boarded an international flight on the same day he was reported missing. We are working with international law enforcement agencies on next steps. This is an ongoing investigation.”

This is not remotely reassuring, either to the city Cong left behind or wherever he next shows up.

The review board documents make it clear that Cong suffered from major depression “with psychotic features” before the attack on Yuan. Following hospitalization after an attempted suicide in 2012, he apparently went off his meds and was again seized by thoughts of being surrounded by evil spirits and ghosts. That was his state of mind when he attacked Yuan without provocation in the communal kitchen area of their rooming house. Yuan was a friend; they’d roomed together before.

Cong has since been diagnosed with schizophrenia, with a differential diagnosis (which means distinguishing between two or more conditions with similar signs or symptoms) of schizoaffective disorder, which can include hallucinations and delusions.

Second CAMH patient found NCR of violent crimes briefly goes missing, police say

Second CAMH patient found NCR of violent crimes briefly goes missing, police say TORONTO — A man convicted of violent offences and detained at a Toronto mental health facility briefly walked away earlier this week, marking the second escape from the institution this month. Toronto police confirmed that 27-year-old Ahmed Sualim briefly walked away from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Monday, only to be found several hours later. 

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Rosie DiManno (born c. 1956) is a Canadian journalist who has worked at the Toronto Star since beginning her career in 1975. In 2012 the Canadian Olympic Committee honored DiManno for covering over 10 Olympic games. Dimanno was born in Toronto to Italian immigrants.

He is ill and will get worse without medication. He is dangerous.

He could have been a danger to anyone seated around him on that flight to wherever, as well as to the airline crew. If he got on a plane using his own passport, there was no flight risk data to stop him. If he managed to do all of that without help — which beggars belief, frankly — then he’s more cognitively functional than the hearing material suggests.

CAMH would not comment specifically on the case of Cong, who had resided in the hospital’s general forensic unit. But on Tuesday it released a statement which certainly seemed to hang the blame on the board, despite the fact that Cong had escaped while in its custody: “Each forensic patient at CAMH has a unique rehabilitation and recovery plan in place, which is overseen by the ORB. The ORB sets the parameters of supervision and management for people found not criminally responsible.’’

Cong was on an unaccompanied pass into the community — he’d made frequent use of these — when he vanished. His failure to return was reported to police at 6:50 p.m. on July 3.

It should be noted here that yet another CAMH patient had escaped from the facility last Sunday. The police blotter never mentions that he was a CAMH escapee, merely that the missing man was considered “violent and dangerous” and shouldn’t be approached. He was quickly found.

Rosie DiManno: Repeated escapes are undermining confidence in Toronto’s CAMH

Rosie DiManno: Repeated escapes are undermining confidence in Toronto’s CAMH Ahmed Sualim has done a whole lot of bolting in his life. Bolted from Peoples Jewellers at the Scarborough Town Centre — with a two-carat diamond ring priced at $14,999. Bolted from Peoples Jewellers on Rexdale Blvd. — with a two-carat diamond ring priced at $6,299. Bolted from Peoples Jewellers in Fairview Mall — with a three-carat ring priced at $40,000. Bolted from Mappins Jewellers at Square One Shopping Mall — with a diamond ring priced at $6,299. Bolted from Jewels by Koby in the Lawrence Square Shopping Centre with a two-carat ring priced at $9,000. Bolted from a Days Inn hotel on Wilson Ave. after reaching over and grabbing $2,000 out of the cash register.

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Cong, as the hearing was told, had privileges allowing him to live in the community under 24-hour supervision. However, Cong was unwilling to work with a CAMH team trying to devise a discharge plan. He hadn’t pursued a permanent residency card, nor signed a housing application form. Cong was adamant that, when discharged, he would immediately return to China — his mother lives there, they’d Skyped every few weeks — or find his own place to live in Toronto.

Cong’s attending psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Rootenberg, testified at the April hearing that the patient had not manifested any symptoms of his illness “at this time” and that he’d complied with medication treatment, which hadn’t changed over the past year. No incidents of violence had been reported, against co-patients or staff or in the community, and there were no signs of aggressive impulsive behaviour.

Cong told Rootenberg, according to the report, that he was no longer tormented by evil spirits and that he would know if “the ghosts came back.’’

But that was Cong on antipsychotic drugs that clearly alleviated his symptoms. He further mentioned that mental illness was a stigma in his culture, a cause of shame. It seems highly unlikely that Cong, whether in China or anywhere else, would seek psychiatric help unless at a point of crisis and hospitalized. Or, worse, after committing another violent act. It’s unknown whether Cong had any drugs with him when he disappeared or if he would continue to take them.

It was Rootenberg’s view that Cong would not require 24-hour supervision on release if viable accommodation could be found, and that he could be appropriately managed by the hospital. Indeed, the board removed the 24-hour supervision proviso, provided he return to the hospital at the first sign of “decomposition” in his mental condition or other increases to public risk.

CAMH announces external review as concerns mount over disappearances

CAMH announces external review as concerns mount over disappearances CAMH announces external review as concerns mount over disappearances

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That seems an awful lot of self-pulse-taking for an individual with a poor understanding of his illness, who doesn’t speak English, who refused ESL classes and hasn’t worked in five years. (Cong trained in China as both an electrical engineer and computer programmer.)

This is not meant in any way to slag CAMH, which does the work of angels. Nor is it an indictment of the Ontario Review Board, which is mandated to determine the “least onerous and least restrictive” disposition for patients reintegrating into society, albeit with public safety as the “paramount consideration.”

On Wednesday, well after the horse had bolted the stable, CAMH released a further statement, saying an internal review had been launched and outlining additional precautions that will be taken immediately: All existing passes and privileges will be reassessed by the physician-in-chief, with a focus on patients who have unsupervised access to the community. Clinical and security staff will be increased on all forensic units.

Fine and good, if sadly belated. But somewhere out there, a deeply disturbed man, someone who has killed before, is likely destabilizing and hurtling towards psychosis.

They lost Zhebin Cong and nobody around him is safe.

Rosie DiManno is a columnist based in Toronto covering sports and current affairs. Follow her on Twitter: @rdimanno

Mental health facility announces review after killer, armed robber take off.
TORONTO — The president of a prominent mental health hospital from which two men with violent histories escaped recently said she's ordered an external review in a bid to allay public safety fears. Catherine Xahn said the escapes prompted calls for a closer look at patient passes and privileges at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which goes by CAMH. Both men had been found not criminally responsible on account of mental illnesses or NCR for violent crimes. Zhebin Cong had been charged with the second-degree murder of his roommate in 2014, while Ahmed Sualim committed a string of armed robberies in 2012.

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