South Pasadena nursing home raided in federal probe


In South Pasadena, police are grappling with a surge in crime where they never expected it.

"We've had about 65 instances of criminal behavior, disturbances, assaults, theft, burglaries," said South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Payne.

All linked to patients at the South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital. Fernando Clifton is a patient who says the patients there need special 24-hour care.

"A lot of us in here is mentally ill, we are sick, diabetes, people have got HIV," said Clifton.

"They have admitted a number of patients that we have some real serious concerns about with criminal backgrounds, mostly drug and alcohol offenses, individuals that may have been released from state prisons, county jails," said Payne.

Now it's the hospital owners under investigation at the federal level. Under a sealed warrant, the FBI and IRS raided South Pasadena Convalescent Hospital and other nursing facilities last week.

At one Eagle Rock center, operators say that agents were looking for evidence of fraud, specifically patients who had been admitted inappropriately, a list of 64 of them on Medicare.

In South Pasadena, administrators declined comment. As the federal probe of hospital management continues, the facility is taking at least one step to control its patients. There's now a private security guard outside. But that may not be enough for police.

"If they would no longer house individuals with criminal behavior, that would make a huge difference here," said Payne.

Copyright © 2023 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.