REGINA – A General Hospital employee is renewing calls for more staff safety measures after he claims he was assaulted while walking to work Tuesday morning.
Charles Zsohar said he parked his car about three blocks away from the hospital, where he works as a clinical social worker, when he was approached by two men who demanded his wallet and threatened to stab him.
“I knew at that point I had to act, I could not turn and walk away,” he said.
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Zsohar has had martial arts training and managed to fight them off but suffered a few minor cuts to his hands.
Now he’s calling on the health authorities to step up and do more to ensure staff have a safe way to get to and from work.
“Hopefully the hospital and health care system will do something about it because this is not the first time this has happened this won’t be the last,” he said. “There will be more instances like this.”
There have been similar several high profile incidents. In December of 2014, Jennifer LeGard, a NICU nurse, was violently assaulted after her shift.
In January, another employee had a shotgun pulled on him on hospital property.
Dale Orban, security and parking manager for the Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, said there are safety measures in place for staff including a safewalk and park and ride program,
“There are things we can do for parking options, there’s no doubt about that, and we’re looking at long term options. A parkade is one of them,” he explained. “But for safety, a lot of it is a continual message to the staff about what they should be doing.”
Orban acknowledges that there are shortcoming with the system. Safewalk only escorts staff as far as the hospital parking lot. Park and ride comes with a cost and doesn’t always mesh with employees’ schedules.
But, Orban said regardless how many safety measures are in place some things are just outside everyone’s control.
“It was 8:30 in the morning, who would have suspected it? He sure didn’t,” he said.
Zsohar has since signed up for the safe ride program but hopes for his sake, and his colleagues, sharing his story will spark change.
“Things could go very bad, very quickly for others,” he added.
Police have confirmed they were called to the corner of 15th Avenue and Toronto Street at 8:48 a.m. where it is alleged two First Nations men demanded the victim’s wallet.
Regina Police did an area check and could not find any suspects.
If anyone has any information that could help police locate the suspects they are asked to call 306-777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.