Ohio office attack victim seeks suspect's records

ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS AP Legal Affairs Writer Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- A man who suffered severe injuries after he was repeatedly stabbed at an Ohio office building last year is seeking copies of the suspect's mental health records, alleging mental health providers may have been negligent.

Stabbing victim Jeffrey Maloon says suspect John Mallett suffered from severe mental illness including schizophrenia and was prone to "violent assaultive outbursts" when living in Tennessee before coming to Columbus in January 2012.

Mallett was in and out of mental health facilities and jails until Jan. 6, 2012, when he was placed on a Greyhound bus and sent to Columbus in a move one relative dubbed "Greyhound Therapy," according to a court filing by Maloon's attorney in Franklin County court last week.

Attorney Michael Rourke said he needs the records to determine whether mental health providers in Ohio or Tennessee could be sued over their treatment of Mallett.

Rourke said a one-year deadline for Maloon to sue runs out March 14, the one-year anniversary of the attacks.

Maloon believes "that one or more mental health care providers for Mallett was negligent and potentially even reckless in their failure to commit Mallett or to properly evaluate and treat him," Rourke argued in the Jan. 22 filing.

Maloon and his attorney argue the attacks might not have happened "had these mental health care providers met the applicable standard of care," said the filing, which requests the records from the Franklin County prosecutor's office.

Three other people were injured in the attack, which appeared to be a random assault on people inside and out of a downtown Columbus trade school. A Columbus police officer responding to reports of the attack shot Mallett several times, but he survived.

Mallett, 38, was armed with three knives when he entered a building that houses Miami-Jacobs Career College and other offices and stabbed four men, the first a college employee, police said at the time. Other people intervened and took away a knife Mallett was using but didn't realize he had more, police said.

Mallett, whose case is pending, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of attempted murder and five counts of felonious assault.

Messages left Monday for Rourke and Mallett's public defender weren't immediately returned.

Mallett was frustrated that his plans to move into his own place were delayed because an apartment wasn't ready, according to an aunt whom Mallett had moved in with after arriving in Columbus.

Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien said his office was prohibited from releasing the records by a protective order.

O'Brien's office will release the records if the judge issues a new order allowing them to be provided to the victims or their attorney, O'Brien said in an email Monday to The Associated Press.

Maloon, an assistant attorney general whose office is in downtown Columbus, needed "multiple surgeries, hospitalizations and lengthy rehabilitation" after the attack, his filing said.

"Maloon continues to suffer from the injuries he sustained," the filing said.

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Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.