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Patient Attacks Counselor at Clinic

April 10, 1989

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) _ A distraught patient shouting ″I’ll kill you 3/8 I’ll kill you 3/8‴ repeatedly stabbed a psychiatric social worker at a mental health center, police and the victim said.

Sunday’s attack on Shirley Ann Sauerwein, 44, was the second knifing in seven weeks at a mental health facility in Santa Monica. The first one was fatal.

Ms. Sauerwein was in good condition today at Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center, where she was expected to remain for several days for treatment of five wounds in the chest and arms, said a nursing supervisor.

A patient, Larry Anthony Taylor, 27, was arrested and held for investigation of attempted murder in the jail ward at County-USC Medical Center, said Sgt. Frank Fabrega.

Ms. Sauerwein said she feels no animosity toward Taylor, who she said had an irrational fear of an upcoming court hearing on a minor criminal matter.

″Larry is a young man who is immature and in certain instances cannot practice the best judgment,″ she said from her hospital bed.

Ms. Sauerwein said she works for the Los Angeles County Department of Children’s Services and part-time at the Santa Monica clinic.

She said she had met psychiatric worker Robbyn Panitch, who police said was stabbed to death Feb. 21 by a transient at another mental-health facility, the Santa Monica West Mental Health Clinic.

Ms. Sauerwein said Taylor locked the door before he stabbed her in her chest and arms.

″He kept saying, ‘I’ll kill you 3/8 I’ll kill you 3/8’ Then I said, ’Larry, if you do that, they will send you to jail,‴ she said. She fended off a few more blows, and finally he fled, she said. Taylor was captured outside the building.

She said the attack will not make her afraid of returning to her job, because ″it is something you are trained to anticipate.″

In an unrelated attack Sunday evening, a mental patient handcuffed to a gurney at St. John’s hospital grabbed the gun of a police officer guarding him and fired two shots, missing the officer, said Sgt. Bill Brucker.

After a scuffle with the officer, David Savarino, 31, of Santa Monica surrendered. He was jailed for investigation of attempted murder on a police officer, said Brucker.

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