by Bruce McEwen, February 29, 2012
Scotty Lee Willis & Kelisha Alvarez
Oh have you heard of nasty school?
They teach nasty things and they have nasty rules.
They only take nasties and rowdies and fools.
So come, let’s take a walk through nasty school.
— Shel Silverstein
The official state estimate says that 32% of the California budget for indigent medical services is consumed by 2% of the indigent community. “Indigent community” is PC-speak for that sector of the homeless, or street people, who regularly show up in emergency rooms where, by law, they can't be denied services. A lot of them are hopeless drunks and drug addicts who used to be treated in the state hospital system that Reagan closed down.
In Mendocino County, low-end estimates say we have a year-round average about 100 full-time homeless individuals. High-end estimates put the number of in-County homeless as high as 1200. Whatever the number, it doubles and even triples during late summer when itinerant potheads arrive to take jobs trimming marijuana. Dope season, you see them standing around on the busiest streets of the County's population centers aloft their trim scissors in search of seasonal work. Trimmers often sign up for an array of benefits designed to keep the chronically homeless alive, as do many other transients, but it's the frequent fliers, not the trimmers and other travelers among the homeless that eat up a big part of the indigent medical budget.
Two locally-based individuals suck up a very large portion of that budget all by themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Kelisha Alvarez and Scotty Willis.
In the past year, these two, a couple, visited the Emergency Room at Ukiah Valley Medical Center 99 times. Heck, call it a hundred, but due to patient confidentiality restrictions, the stats cannot be independently confirmed. But hospital staffers, speaking off the record, say the couple made at least that many visits, and often arrived by ambulance.
Mr. Willis is an epileptic who occasionally suffers real seizures. At other times, he fakes them to avoid situations he'd prefer to avoid, like going to jail or court.
Mr. Willis's love interest, Ms. Alvarez, fakes all of her seizures so far as anyone can determine because she has no documented medical condition besides obesity at 5’3” and 285 pounds. She's got this weapons-grade heft that can convert her into a kind of mobile wrecking ball, plus a very bad attitude.Both the love birds have well documented criminal histories.
At the young age of 25, Kelisha Alvarez’s rap sheet is considerably longer than her boyfriend's. Kelisha has so many violations of probation that it seems the courts have often simply let her slide rather than deal with her in any formal sense. For instance, she was granted a Deferred Entry of Judgment years ago, then refused to cooperate. She tried Proposition 36 for treatment instead of jail for first time drug arrests and blew that. The same for Penal Code 1000, another first time drug offender alternative program. Having been given every chance in the book, Kelisha simply turned around and threw the book back at the courts.
Among her long list of crimes, Ms. K has been caught lifting booze off the shelves at Safeway, admitted stealing from elders, racked up an assault with a deadly weapon, a battery against both peace officers and EMTs. Mostly, though, her charges are disorderly conduct, trespassing, disobeying court orders, using offensive language — she’s a great one for high decibel, race-based insults — and tweaking. Although she always has money for meth and booze, her fines are usually dismissed for her inability to pay them.
In their most recent interface with the forces of law and order, the fun couple was hanging out at the Ukiah hospital’s emergency room watching TV like it was their livingroom when they went off. Scotty and Kelisha had just been ticketed for public intoxication and “camping” on the east side of the Safeway parking lot. Scotty has torn up many similar tickets, along with citations for assault and vandalism. The Safeway parking lot doesn't offer television or camping facilities, but Kelisha was missing her favorite tv programs and wanted to go hang out at the ER where she could be more comfortable as she caught up on, perhaps, General Hospital and, during the commercials, amuse herself by insulting hospital staff.
On this occasion, January 18th, the Charge Nurse, Kim Swift and RN Jack Worthington went over to see if the couple was there to see the doctor or just hang out. In her subsequent declaration of what ensued, Nurse Swift said, “They both stated they were actively seizing while sitting in the lobby watching television and drinking a bottle of iced tea. Dr. Begley evaluated both in the triage room. Dr. Begley first evaluated Kelisha Alvarez, cleared and discharged her. Dr. Begley then evaluated Scotty Willis and cleared and discharged him as well.
“At that time, Mr. Willis refused to leave the triage room. Jack Worthington, RN, and I attempted to escort him out when Mr. Willis stated he needed his iced tea from the lobby. I obtained his tea and Mr. Willis started walking out the door with each of us having a hand on his elbows. We were by the guard shack at the ambulance entrance when Mr. Willis threw an elbow into Mr. Worthington’s head, knocking off his glasses. He then punched Mr. Worthington in the face.”
“I couldn’t see anything,” Worthington stated in his declaration. In the ensuing scuffle Worthington's finger also got jammed and badly swollen, his shirt was ripped open and he received a nasty scratch on his neck.
Nurse Swift tried to pry Scotty Willis off Worthington and was set upon by Kelisha Alvarez, who knocked the iced tea flying then slipped in it and fell on her five foot wide ass.
“I stood over her and told her to stay out of it,” Nurse Swift said.
Staff members Shawn Stark and Jay Girard scrambled to help restrain the lunatic Willis, who Worthington had managed to pin down on a bench.
“The mother of a patient in bed 10 of the emergency room ran up to me,” Nurse Swift said, “stating she had seen the whole thing and had called the police.”
When Officer Aponte of the Ukiah Police arrived, he sized up the situation with a groan of frustrated recognition. It would do no good to arrest the two "epileptics" because they would just fake seizures and tie up a good part of Ukiah's emergency medical system for hours.
Nurse Swift continued her account of her very long day: “The police arrived but I don't think they took it seriously. Officer Alponte was dealing with Ms. Alvarez. I had other patients in the lobby who needed to be triaged.”
Alponte was about to let Kelisha go, apparently content simply to get her off the hospital's premises.
“Don’t let her walk away,” Swift said. “I want to press charges. I'm tired of her spitting, hitting, throwing stuff, and cussing at us!”
Officer Alponte, probably with a sigh, arrested both of the roving tar babies and booked them into the County Jail.
As soon as they got to court the next day both defendants had seizures.
I'd seen EMTs removing people from the Courthouse on gurneys, but I didn’t realize it was always the same two people.
This particular case eventually went to civil court because the hospital had filed for a restraining order to keep the charming couple out of the Emergency Room. They'd have to find another place to watch television. Attorney Jan Cole-Wilson is representing Ukiah Valley Medical Center. Scotty is represented by the Public Defender’s office, and Kelisha is represented by the Alternate Public Defender. Of course, the representation of public defenders doesn’t extend to civil matters. But whatever the technicalities of representation, when defendant Kelisha got to court she shortcut the proceedings by faking a seizure.
Just last week, there she was being helped from the Courthouse by a medical team who carted her off to ER in an ambulance. If your kid has an accident and needs immediate medical attention, better brush up on your first aid because the ambulance might be tied up with Kelisha and Scotty, spitting on the EMT's, punching them in the face, gouging at their throats with filthy fingernails, and calling them “niggers.”
The pending court matter is aimed at keeping Kalisha out of the Emergency Room, but what can you do?
“Just shoot the bitch,” one lawyer, who begged to remain nameless, suggested.
“Let me get my hands on her fat neck,” another “undisclosed source,” volunteered.
The hearing was reset while Kelisha was hauled to the Emergency Room where she was evaluated and found medically fit and released. Having screamed random ethnic slurs, spit on and scratched at everyone who came within range of her enraged bulk, Kelisha, for the umpteenth time, was good to go. The hospital people learned long ago — probably back when Kalisha picked up her assault with a deadly weapon charge — to keep the trays of surgical instruments way out of her reach whenever she appeared.
Attorney Jan Cole-Wilson commented, “On the next hearing date Kelisha and Scotty didn’t appear. Judge Mayfield granted the restraining orders, but what can you do? You can’t really keep them away from the ER if they claim it’s a medical emergency, can you? I’m a liberal and I very much want this service for people who can’t afford medical care. But it is very frustrating.”
The Hospital’s public relations guy, Keith Dobbs, formerly a managing editor at a daily newspaper, was pleasant and accommodating. He came equipped with Nick Bejarano, and the two fine fellows ushered me into a sunny office with bare, polished surfaces. I asked about a program Ms. Cole-Wilson had mentioned that provides housing, income, and medical insurance for the 2% of chronic ER cases like Scotty and Kelisha. I had a hard time imagining any program short of permanent incarceration that could keep Scotty and Kelisha from doing their thing. Dobbs said he would email me the info.
What did he think of Scotty and Kelisha?
“We’re here to serve the community,” Mr. Dobbs blandly intoned. “To do what’s right for those who need patient care.”
I asked him again.
“Our mission is to reflect God’s love.”
Ukiah Valley Medical Center is an arm of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
“Yes, yes, but how about you, personally?”
“It’s not our place to judge. Because of patient confidentiality, we cannot talk about the case. Or her diagnosis. As for the restraining order, I can give you a copy of that.”¥¥
* The charge was dropped in exchange for a plea in another case, for which Kelisha was given 30 days, and her fines written off.
Kelisha Alvarez booking summary:
7/18/2009 Under the influence of a controlled substance
2/24/2010 Disobeying a court order
3/18/2010 Disobeying a court order
6/18/2010 Disorderly conduct
7/3/2010 Disobeying a court order
10/15/2010 Probation revocation
11/20/2010 Trespassing, petty theft
12/22/2010 Disorderly conduct
1/13/2011 Failure to appear, probation revocation
7/18/2011 Assault with a deadly weapon
1/20/2012 Battery against peace officer, emergency tech, et al in performance of their duties.
Scotty Willis Booking Summary:
6/18/2009. Contempt of court.
2/7/2010. Receiving stolen property.
7/15/2010. Probation violation.
10/25/2010. Trespass of a business, probation revocation, threats to committee crimes resulting in death or great bodily
injury, brandishing or exhibiting deadly weapon other than a gun in a threatening, rude or angry manner.
11/27/2010. Disorderly conduct.
2/8/2011. Battery, violation of another person’s civil rights.
3/20/2011. Trespass on closed land.
11/30/2011 Resisting or obstructing a public officer, probation
1/20/2012. Battery against peace officer, emergency tech, etc. in performance of their duties.