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Workplace Violence

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 18, 1995
On July 9 in the City of Industry, a postal worker walked up to his boss, pulled a gun from a paper bag and shot him dead, the latest incident in an alarming increase in workplace violence. A U.S. Justice Department study found that 1 million violent crimes occur in American workplaces each year. That's one out of every six violent crimes in America. Sixteen percent of all assaults, 8% of all rapes and 7% of all robberies happen on the job. A University of California survey last fall found that job layoffs are one of the major causes of workplace violence.
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NATIONAL
September 17, 2013 | David Cloud, Richard A. Serrano and Richard Simon
A gunman who had been discharged by the Navy in 2011 after what an official described as a "pattern of misconduct" staged a two-hour rampage Monday at the Washington Navy Yard, killing 12 people before being shot to death by law enforcement officials. Officials using fingerprint records identified the man as Aaron Alexis, 34, a Navy contractor, whose arrival on the base shortly before 8:15 a.m. set off hours of terror and mayhem. More than 3,000 workers were locked down in their offices while police officers, Navy security guards and FBI agents fought a running gun battle with the shooter, who was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a handgun.
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BUSINESS
March 15, 1996 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Labor Department issued guidelines Thursday designed to reduce homicides and other workplace violence against health-care and social-service workers. In California, similar guidelines to curb such violence were adopted in 1993, and a subsequent state law imposes additional safety requirements on hospitals. Federal officials said the health-care and social-service industries were targeted because roughly two-thirds of the reported incidents of workplace violence occur in those fields.
NATIONAL
July 13, 2013 | By Tina Susman
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Gunfire echoed through the building as office workers pushed a heavy table across the doorway and turned out the lights. They flattened themselves against the wall. One woman hoisted a chair high over her head. Another stood ready to hurl a juice bottle. All eyes were on the door, the only thing separating them from a man with a gun. When he pushed his way into the room, they pounced. One woman used her hand to force the gun's muzzle downward. A colleague kicked the back of the assailant's knees, knocking him to the ground.
BUSINESS
September 17, 1995
Jane Applegate's small-business column of Aug. 22 ("Dealing With Workplace Violence") contained solid, heads-up advice on dealing with workplace violence. She neglected to mention, however, a contributing factor in a significant number of cases of violent employee outbursts--the autocratic or abusive style in which management routinely deals with employees. Awareness of this factor can be especially important for small businesses run by entrepreneurs, who, being action-oriented, often tend more than the average manager toward bluntness and minimal patience for the "softer" side of people management such as constructive feedback, active listening, coaching and counseling.
BUSINESS
March 23, 1997 | MARY J. PITZER, Mary J. Pitzer is a freelance writer based in Woodland Hills
People didn't used to worry much about their safety at work. But those days are gone. Bank robberies, employees with a grudge and out-of-control customers make headlines all too often. About 1 million people nationwide are victims of violent crime in the workplace each year, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics. In California, 195 people were murdered in the workplace in 1993, surpassing for the first time the number of workers killed in traffic accidents.
NATIONAL
July 9, 2003 | Scott Gold and Lianne Hart, Times Staff Writers
A Mississippi man who had spoken openly about his hatred of blacks and his capacity for killing went on a rampage Tuesday morning at the defense plant where he worked, fatally shooting five and wounding nine before taking his own life with a shotgun, authorities and area residents said. Investigators identified the gunman as Doug Williams, 48, a production assemblyman for the past 19 years at a Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.
NEWS
March 18, 1994 | STUART SILVERSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Nobody just barges into lawyer Michelle Scully's office in downtown San Francisco. She keeps her door locked and peeks through a peephole to size up visitors before letting anyone pass. Scully, 28, has plenty of reason to be security-conscious while on the job. Last July, she was wounded and her husband was killed in one of the nation's worst outbreaks of workplace violence--a shooting spree that left nine people dead at a high-rise in San Francisco's financial district.
BUSINESS
October 18, 1993 | DEBORA VRANA
For 13 years as a Secret Service agent, Jurg Mattman helped protect the President of the United States. Now, Mattman works to prevent acts of violence from occurring at Southern California's increasingly hazardous workplaces. In June, Mattman formed the Workplace Violence Research Institute in Newport Beach, which counsels worried executives faced with terminating a worker they fear could be a danger to other employees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1993 | DAVID REYES, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Karen Marie LaBorde, the bookkeeper who died Tuesday after being set on fire, allegedly by a disgruntled janitor, may have been a "target of opportunity" and not the focus of her assailant's rage, a behavior expert said. "It is rare that a supervisor or the subject of a romantic obsession gets hurt," Dr. Chris Hatcher, a clinical professor of psychology at the UC San Francisco, said Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2011 | Jessica Garrison and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The patient was drunk, naked and covered in blood when he burst out of his emergency room cubicle around 2 a.m., brandishing scissors. He lunged at two nurses and began chasing them. It took two police officers and three zaps from a Taser to subdue him. Rattled by this attempted stabbing in 2009 and other attacks at Ventura County Medical Center, emergency room nurse Lorraine Sandoval began keeping count of every time a colleague was assaulted or threatened by patients. On average, she found, it was once or twice a day. "We should not have to wait until a nurse, doctor or EMT or patient is seriously injured or killed before something is done," Sandoval recalled telling her bosses, who later installed an armed officer in the emergency room.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2009 | Hector Becerra
From their perch on a forklift, two men wave their arms and call out to Charlie Bohnhoff as he walks into the lumberyard his family has owned for nearly a century. Getting his attention, the two workers greet their boss with a military salute. Bohnhoff, returning from a delivery, smiles in fake exasperation and yells: "That's it. You guys are out of here!" On the surface at least, Bohnhoff Lumber Co. in Vernon is returning to normal. The floral memorials are gone. The letters and condolence cards have stopped pouring in. The awkward phone calls from customers asking for people no longer there have ceased.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2006 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
As postal employees in Goleta reported back to work Thursday, community groups rallied to their support and counselors tried to help them come to terms with the carnage that invaded their night shift earlier in the week. U.S. Postmaster General John Potter was on hand to offer his condolences at the mail-sorting facility where a former employee fatally shot six workers Monday night before turning her semiautomatic pistol on herself.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2006 | Fred Alvarez and Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writers
Across Santa Barbara County on Tuesday, the shock of a woman's homicidal rampage through a Goleta postal facility reverberated through neighborhoods of tidy tract houses, mobile homes and apartment buildings. The somber toll of deaths -- five plus that of 44-year-old shooter Jennifer Sanmarco, who committed suicide -- included a basketball-playing mom, a gardening grandfather and a widow just emerging from years-long grief.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2006 | Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writer
The former postal worker who fatally shot five employees and wounded another at a mail distribution facility in Goleta had been placed on medical leave three years ago for psychological problems, authorities said Tuesday. "She had not threatened anyone, but other employees were concerned for her welfare," said Randy DeGasperin, an inspector for the U.S. Postal Service, explaining why sheriff's deputies removed Jennifer Sanmarco from the building three years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 3, 2005 | Richard Winton and Eric Malnic, Times Staff Writers
More than 20 years after a Puente Hills landfill supervisor disappeared, leaving behind only a bloodstain in the dirt, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have arrested one of his employees on suspicion of murder. Acting on information from an unnamed informant, prosecutors charged John Alcantara, 50, with murder Friday in the death of Robert Bennett, whose body has never been found. Alcantara was being held in lieu of $1-million bail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2011 | Jessica Garrison and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
The patient was drunk, naked and covered in blood when he burst out of his emergency room cubicle around 2 a.m., brandishing scissors. He lunged at two nurses and began chasing them. It took two police officers and three zaps from a Taser to subdue him. Rattled by this attempted stabbing in 2009 and other attacks at Ventura County Medical Center, emergency room nurse Lorraine Sandoval began keeping count of every time a colleague was assaulted or threatened by patients. On average, she found, it was once or twice a day. "We should not have to wait until a nurse, doctor or EMT or patient is seriously injured or killed before something is done," Sandoval recalled telling her bosses, who later installed an armed officer in the emergency room.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2009 | Hector Becerra
From their perch on a forklift, two men wave their arms and call out to Charlie Bohnhoff as he walks into the lumberyard his family has owned for nearly a century. Getting his attention, the two workers greet their boss with a military salute. Bohnhoff, returning from a delivery, smiles in fake exasperation and yells: "That's it. You guys are out of here!" On the surface at least, Bohnhoff Lumber Co. in Vernon is returning to normal. The floral memorials are gone. The letters and condolence cards have stopped pouring in. The awkward phone calls from customers asking for people no longer there have ceased.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2005 | Natasha Lee, Times Staff Writer
A Los Angeles city street worker who reportedly had been reprimanded for being late to work opened fire with an assault rifle on his boss and another coworker Thursday evening at a downtown maintenance yard, killing both, police said. The suspect drove himself to the nearby Hollenbeck police station and turned himself in a short time later, Police Chief William J. Bratton said. Police found an AK-47 rifle in his car.
NATIONAL
February 22, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A veteran employee opened fire at a shipyard, wounding two co-workers, police said. Police charged Alexander L. Lett, 41, with two counts of aggravated assault, but were still trying to figure out what prompted the shooting in Pascagoula. Lett was a quality inspector who had worked at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems for more than 20 years, police said. About 30 people were in the vicinity when Lett began shooting inside a warehouse with a 9- millimeter semiautomatic pistol, police said.
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