Family demands answers after state hospital patient drowns in shower

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Castle Perez was a patient at Hawaii State Hospital when he drowned in the shower.

A report by the Honolulu medical examiner says on Sept. 21, 2016, a staff member found Perez on his knees in what’s known as a tripod position, with his face submerged in a wash basin on the floor.

He was given CPR and rushed to another hospital, where he later died.

Now, more than a year later, family members tell KHON2 the state hasn’t given them any real answers, and they plan to sue.

“It doesn’t make sense, no,” said Sharlene Perez, Castle Perez’s mother. “Something happened. Something went wrong. I don’t believe my son committed suicide. Nope.”

The medical examiner says Perez died due to complications of near drowning. The manner of death remains undetermined.

“What do you think happened then?” KHON2 asked.

“I don’t know. I just know something happened to my son. Something went wrong,” said Sharlene Perez.

“So somebody else did this to him?” KHON2 asked.

“I feel that way yeah,” she replied.

The family’s attorney, Peter Hsieh, says Perez was supposed to have one-on-one supervision.

There was someone outside the room at the time, and there are supposed to be video cameras in the hallways.

“Yet when asked, they said that there were no videos of any activities on that particular day. How do you not have videos if you have video cameras on the day that he died?” Hsieh said. “It’s ludicrous. It’s improbable, and it’s very suspicious.”

According to a Hawaii State Hospital spokeswoman, every incident involves an extensive investigation, but she can’t share any patient information due to confidentiality laws.

We’re also checking with the Honolulu Police Department to see if officers responded to the incident.

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