Bronx Hospital Staffers Refused To Speak To Police Probing Suspected Assault

Published on February 02, 2017, 11:06 am
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A “white wall of silence” has stymied an NYPD investigation into a suspected assault at Montefiore Hospital that left an engineer with brain damage, a police source said Thursday.

The bizarre case of Seong Soo Kim began in October 2014, when he was discovered unconscious, with multiple skull fractures, on the floor of a heavily-trafficked room inside the Bronx hospital.

The NYPD only found out about the incident four days later when Kim’s wife, a Montefiore technician, reported it to police.

Hospital officials supplied investigators with surveillance footage of the room where Kim was found — but it did not capture the incident.

Further complicating the probe, multiple staffers refused to speak with police, a source said.

“Every single person in the hospital that we wanted to interview on this lawyered up,” an NYPD source said.

“It was like some white wall of silence was put up to block our investigation.”

The source said cops obtained subpoenas and tried to question multiple staffers with their lawyers, “but they still didn’t speak.”

The hospital defended its handling of the case but did not respond to specific questions.

“In regards to Mr. Kim, Montefiore conducted our own thorough internal investigation,” read a Montefiore statement.

“We subsequently fully cooperated with the NYPD and the District Attorney’s Office in support of their investigations.”

At a Thursday rally outside the hospital, Kim’s anguished mother demanded answers.

“I’m really hurt. For me this is devastating,” Jong Ja Paik, 75, said via a translator after flying into the country from South Korea.

“This is the third time I’ve been here demonstrating and nothing has been done.”

Paik added that her son, who is the youngest of three, is a shell of his former self.

“My son can’t get up. He’s disoriented. He’s half alive,” Paik said. “He cannot move a lot. He needs to be fed. He doesn’t recognize anyone, only his family.”

The case remains an “active assault investigation,” police said, though they have not ruled out the possibility that Kim was injured in a fall.

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office is also investigating, a spokeswoman said.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) joined the 50 people rallying outside Montefiore.

“I’m very disappointed in the lack of action and response from the hospital,” Avella said. “I think it’s unacceptable.”

Avella threatened to pursue blocking the hospital from receiving $50 million in funds from Albany if the hospital is found to have engaged in a cover-up.

“This is not going away until we get a resolution,”
Avella said.

 

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