Comatose Border Patrol Victim Spared Deportation, Removal from St. Joseph's (For Now)

josegutierrezhead.jpg
Univision
Jose Gutierrez, who is in a vegetative state, with part of his skull removed

Saint Joseph is traditionally the patron saint of workers and immigrants. The latter is because the father of Jesus was forced to flee to Egypt to save the Christ child from Herod the Great's wrath. Once King Herod was dead, Joseph moved his family back to Israel, settling in Nazareth.

There is a large statue of St. Joseph outside of his namesake hospital in Phoenix, which was founded in 1895 by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy, but St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center does not always pity the poor immigrant as it should.

This morning, Shena Wilson, the wife of Jose Gutierrez Guzman, kept watch over her husband in the hospital's intensive care unit, under the guard of two U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers. Not that Gutierrez was in any condition to escape their clutches.

At that time, Gutierrez was, for reasons unknown, not listed as a patient in St. Joseph's directory. Nevertheless, he lay comatose with part of his skull removed. He sustained Taser marks, a broken tooth, and a severe head injury after his run in with the Border Patrol near the San Luis, Arizona port of entry. He also has two black eyes.

No wonder CBP wanted to boot him from the country, stat.

According to New Times' sister paper LA Weekly, the CBP has stated that "the man struck his head on the ground during the incident." That's a lot of damage from a trip and fall. Unless, gravity received a little help.

Gutierrez had lived in the United States since he was nine, Wilson told me.

He was deported this past March 21, although he was a resident of Los Angeles, held a steady job as a film engineer, and fronted for LZ10, which the LA Weekly describes as a "popular Spanish-rock band." Wilson told me Gutierrez was desperate to get back to the United States, as Mexico is not his home and as his daughter was in the hospital.

But Gutierrez did not make it back to Los Angeles. After receiving substantial injuries while in CBP custody, he was hospitalized. Wilson's lawyer, Brian Lerner, told me the Border Patrol and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wanted to again deport Gutierrez. But Lerner obtained a stay from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, blocking this.

When I spoke with him, Lerner informed me that St. Joseph's wanted to remove Gutierrez in his vegetative state to Mexico, and that he was seeking further relief from the Ninth Circuit to prevent such action.

"Their words were that they were going to `transfer' him back to Mexico," Lerner said of his discussions with the hospital.

St. Joseph's spokeswoman Carmelle Malkovich e-mailed me the following statement after I called her for comment:

The situation related to our patient Jose Gutierrez continues to be very fluid. Earlier today we learned that the federal government will not be prosecuting Mr. Gutierrez, and he is no longer in their custody. Homeland Security personnel have left the hospital and he is now here as a regular patient.

This means that the federal authorities are no longer directing his location and gives us very different options for transitioning the patient to serve his long term care needs.

Because of this change, any plans to transfer the patient anywhere today have been cancelled.

We will continue to focus on the safety of the patient as he recovers. St. Joseph's is not licensed to administer long term medical care. We will work with his family to transition him to the next level of care. Mr. Gutierrez's condition has improved and he no longer needs acute care, which is the only type of care we are licensed to provide.

No other details have been confirmed at this time. 

Suzanne Pfister, VP of External Affairs with St. Joe's, denied that the hospital wanted to remove Gutierrez on its own, and that it had just been following the lead of the CBP.

Lerner disputed this, stating that St. Joe's "backed down." He found Pfister's characterization "a little disingenuous."

He said that he'd been preparing to ask the Ninth Circuit to step in once more and halt any action by the hospital when he received word that St. Joe's had relented.

Lerner related that Gutierrez would likely be transferred to a California facility next week sometime.

He warned that if St. Joe's attempted to remove Gutierrez to Mexico, "I can get to the Ninth Circuit very quickly."

St. Joseph's is a not-for-profit facility. Malkovich at one point described it to me as "private." It's exempt from corporate taxes, and it receives untold millions in federal grants and Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.

Nevertheless, St. Joe's has been known to remove from the U.S. severely ill folks who happen to be undocumented. Back in 2007, I wrote about the death of Joe Arvisu, a North High School student with leukemia who suffered a head injury, became a patient at St. Joe's and was ultimately shipped back to a hospital in Mexico, where he died.

Lerner believes St. Joe's would have put Gutierrez in an ambulance headed for Mexico, despite Gutierrez being in a coma, had he and Wilson not put up a fight.

He promised that "a lawsuit will go forward" on the matter once Gutierrez is back in California and his condition is stable.

CBP did not return repeated calls for comment. Can't say that I blame them. This was turning into a public relations disaster for both CBP and St. Joe's.

Local pro-immigrant advocacy group Puente deserves credit for alerting the local media and for protesting St. Joe's last night and this morning. Such activism and media scrutiny doesn't hurt. In this case, it likely helped, particularly in regard to St. Joe's actions.


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63 comments
ST Paul Tree Removal
ST Paul Tree Removal

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SKOV1
SKOV1

DEPORT THE BASTARD asap AND CHARGE THE MEXICAN GOVT FOR HIS BILLS

nunya
nunya

i wish they passed the law here in Texas like they did in Arizona thats all i want to say

Ronb23
Ronb23

leticia olalia morales of 15501 pasadena ave #8 tustin ca 92780 submitted fake documents and paid 5000.00 dollars to obtain a US tourist visa. she is now applying for citizenship.

David Reed
David Reed

what isa border patrol "victim?" Is it another name for something else the rest of us would understand?

linbb
linbb

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Docbob498th
Docbob498th

St. Joe's is a fine example of Catholicism.

bruce101
bruce101

throw this mex back across the border where he belongs kick his wife out of america to. we don't need any more mexicans in this country.

Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer
Concerned Citizen/Taxpayer

Have to say it again...Stephen, Once again, great investigative reporting. These are the stories the local and larger media want to avoid. There will continue to be tragic human rights violations with the ratcheting up of Arizona's inhumane policies that do not consider the safety and welfare of people, families and children. This will be a shameful chapter of history in America with Arizona leading the way in the 21st century. Who wants that blood on their hands?

Pecee69
Pecee69

It is unfortunate for St Joe's that this is happening in their facility. Having worked in Arizona hospitals for many years I can tell you this is not the first incicent of it's kind nor is it an isolated incident.

Samkree135
Samkree135

Human race is getting uglier by the second

gudenuf4mexgudenuf4me
gudenuf4mexgudenuf4me

sneak into mexico, to live there illegally and get caught/beat up by the federales and see what happens to you..i would dare say you would die in prison without even seeing a hospital

Senta
Senta

Why does everybody blame Arizona, these are Federal Agencies. The State of Arizona has nothing to do with this.

Barni Qaasim
Barni Qaasim

While this is a great article, Arizona's humanity is in such a sad state.

XSoldier
XSoldier

From what I read, this guy was beaten and tasered because he was an illegal.

If he was resisting arrest, I can see the use of reasonable force to make said arrest. I think this may be excessive force.

Way to go, Border Patrol. Hope this guy doesn't sue us.

Atanaciotorrez4
Atanaciotorrez4

First off, all of you liberal "tree hugging hippies" who feel its a humans right violation to give anyone life saving treatment free of any hopes of rembursment, how about you start a free of charge "we're all equal hospital". I will be th first one to step on to your facility and ask for millions of dollars in life saving treatment and thank you by having the media show up and protest that you have not gave me enough time, money and resourses. i will like too see all of your reactions when a fine institution like the one saving this gentlemans life goes out of business and you are all forced to receive rationed care at one of your local "obama care medical centers". You all will prey for the good ol days when a person with not a single penny is their pocket would received all the care they needed and still be offered to be transported by ambulance "thousands of dollars more" to a facility of their choice. O yeah and did i say "free of charge".

Jon
Jon

another one sided story about another p.o.s. that has no business in our country. adios

FrenchFriedNunyas
FrenchFriedNunyas

So nunya must mean "I taint got the brains god give to a nunya .....mmmmm I like nunya's fried up with mushrooms and on top of my burger

jtready
jtready

Border Patrol "victim" translation:

A law breaking, invading, criminal alien from a foreign threat nation composed of hundreds of millions of hostile third-world savages who have no regard for American regulations, rules, society, or customs.

Nancy
Nancy

Oh that's right, lets just throw out all the hard working immigrants who have suffered more than you can imagine, oh and by the way fuck the fact that he has a family, a 5 month old baby in the hospital, along with more kids who surely wont miss their father, right? I mean, they can survive without him, it will be a fucking adventure right? Lets throw out all illegal parents in the US and watch all their kids cry and suffer, because that brings all the racist sons of bitches joy, doesn't it? Lets be ignorant motherfuckers, like Mr. Bruce Douchebag. P.S. that's my uncle you're talking shit about so have some fucking respect asshole!

GuestyMcGuesterson
GuestyMcGuesterson

Yeah, we don't need EDUCATED engineers here! We just need more ignorant trash like yourself, how else can we continue feeding the slavewage monsters.The ignorance of the American people is astounding, it is not isolated to America, but we were supposed to be better than that.I wish we could deport you, I wish we could clean up the population, and rid ourselves of the worthless uneducated trash that clog our health & human service systems.OH but you're a citizen you say? Thats great, but I have no interest in paying for your access/foodstamps/welfare I'm assuming you're siphoning from... Is my statement as ignorant as yours? Why yes it is.. but at least I'm addressing the true problem; lazy, falsely entitled, uneducated American citizens.

boomer49
boomer49

lol, yeah......we need more sister fuckin knucle draggin lazy white trash don't we brucie baby.All those in favor of a smaller more tightly woven gene pool drool and nod.....no, no; drool first THEN nod....oh just do the best you can.

Jimbo
Jimbo

you all are all talk, but if you really had to pay for all these illegals and the cost to deal with them...ie jails prisons court system hospita schoolsl...or if you or a loved one was raped killed robbed or hurt by an illegal you all would be crying...stupid liberal hippies that have no clue wtf is really going on!

E B
E B

You wouldn't have to sneak in because white people are allowed to immigrate to Mexico legally.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

You know, having diseased and dying humans among us is far more unhealthful than having well people.  It would cost far more to remove the dead bodies and treat the citizens which would contract a disease from a non-treated human living with us in close proximity.  We're getting away cheap with providing emergency room treatment for people whose immigration status is unclear.

Mistalee
Mistalee

Unfortunately, medical science has not come up with a cure for chronic idiocy, so all of that treatment will not help you.

Coz
Coz

That was certainly some of the worse babble I've ever read

Boomer49
Boomer49

.......it seems that those new meds are raising problems with your thought prosessing and articulation.

Az_geo
Az_geo

Agreed, Jon....don't you just wish that the BP would just blow these scumbags away instead of us wasting money and resources patching them up?

DCsiSePuede
DCsiSePuede

How about u take ur ass back to whatever country ur ancestors came from. This is our COUNTRY

Boomer49
Boomer49

.....eh, what are the words I'm looking for....oh, here they are "Dear Jon, eat shit and die".

NAUgrad
NAUgrad

Um, no, it is not a one-sided story, Jon. Stephen (the author) solicited and included a response from St. Joseph's (two responses, actually), as well as Customs and Border Patrol. It's not his fact that the feds chose not to respond. Why is it that the angry, bigoted white right in Arizona are so stupid and ignorant of the issues that they're so angry about. You read the story, and yet, you don't even realize that it's objective? What a dummy.

bob gelder
bob gelder

With out knowing the first thing about Mr. Guzman, I can say without hesitation that I would prefer his company to yours Jon. Your comment show that you are ignorant and hateful. Our country is made of immigrants. If you had gone to high school you would have learned about the Statue of Liberty ... "Give us your tired your poor" ... Mr. Guzman was contributing to society. Now thanks to the ignorant haters at border patrol he may live a long and unhappy life in medical care. No one deserves to be tased and beaten into a coma for being born in a different country.

bruce101
bruce101

for you spick lovers and commie traitors get the fuck out of america,go live in mexico .let me know how you like it in mexico because you are piss poor americans.we should shoot every wet back that sneaks across the border.you smelly twat what part of illegal don't you understand?

bruce101
bruce101

this country does not need stinking commies like you and president bongo you two should try kenya where i am sure bongo will find you a nice job.listen you ass hole i don't depend on you or the government because i prepare for any emergencies as a tax payer i don't want my money going to illegal aliens from mexico.they should have left the bastard out in the desert to die.we don't need pussies like you in this country but i think canada does.i don't think you want to fuck with me you jerk, i to have you or you commie pals try to get rid of me.that has been tried by better commies than you and i am still here.

bruce101
bruce101

this knucle dragging paratrooper will kick your ass up around your neck so come on down to fort bragg and ask for brucie.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot

Actually, liberal hippies have been right far more times than redneck crackers about the issues which confront our country.  Check out Thomas Jefferson - a TRUE liberal, tree-hugging hippie - long hair and all!  He was a "Diest" which meant that he believed that everything had a "spirit" and should be worshiped.  He thought the bible was full of crap and wrote his own with all the "crap" taken out.  You should learn about your history Jimbo and stop taking the crap your friends are shoving down your throat.

So Proud of you
So Proud of you

"if you really had to pay for all these illegals" - So you would rather that the businesses that use the labor of these people did not have to pay them anything for the product of their labor?

"the cost to deal with them...ie jails prisons court system hospita schoolsl."So you would rather that the businesses that use the labor of these people also kept them from going through the US court system, incarceration system and did not let them access the hospital system or School system?

"or if you or a loved one was raped killed robbed or hurt by an illegal" So you would rather that the businesses that use the labor of these people keep an eye on those people and "CORRECT" their behavior before those people could reach the general population and run wildly amok and sexually assault the genteel maidens strolling the shaded gardenia scented lanes and holla's?

"you <snip> have no clue wtf is really going on!

Glad to see that what you really want is a return to good old American values of a bygone era, You really would have made your Pappy proud that he raised you with such respect for the Stars and Bars</snip>

Mistalee
Mistalee

I have a loved one who was raped by an Arizona white redneck.

Which is why all white rednecks should be killed or deported.

Human Rights
Human Rights

LOL!! Thank you for that Mistalee, that was priceless.

Coz
Coz

One can only hope

Jon
Jon

well we have those who immigrate into the us the right way and those that sneak in and choose to violate the law..like poor mr guzman. it aint about racism pendejo, i am latino and became a us citizen the right way..thanks us border patrol for the fine work you do every day. keep up the good work and stay safe!

XSoldier
XSoldier

Sounds exactly like something the MCSO shurf and his SS goon squads know all too much about......

"No one deserves to be tased and beaten into a coma for being born in a different country."

bruce101
bruce101

are you stupid be cause any one who supports president bongo supports communism.now fuck off

What are you trying to say
What are you trying to say

Exactly what is a commie traitor?

A traitor to the communist ideal would be a free market entrepreneur or one who wants to own personal property and make a profit.

So are you saying that you are NOT a commie traitor?That would mean that you are against anyone other then the government owning property and that all excess money not needed to continue operations of the machinery to make goods be distributed equally amongst all workers no matter how large or small the contribution they have in making the initial product that made said profit.

So which are you?

Nancy
Nancy

I dare you to shoot me. A college bound 18 year old US citizen top 15 percent of her class, bet you never achieved that now did you? I'm not saying that only illegal people are hard workers, I'm saying thay those like you who hate them for no reason are fucking ignorant. Do you personally know this man? No, you don't so why do you dislike him enough to wish misfortune upn him???

bruce101
bruce101

for beating the crap out of a left wing pussie i would get a 5 day pass

NAVY Fire Controlman
NAVY Fire Controlman

"this country does not need stinking commies like you and president bongo"

So all we have to do is "come on down to fort bragg and ask for brucie."How about we ask the base commander about brucie and bring up UCMJ article 134 for disparaging remarks made by an active duty member about the commander in chief in a public forum.

Now that would be a fun conversation to have especially when you get striped of a rank, go on half pay for several months, probably spend time in the stockade before getting dishonorably discharged.

You have to remember that when you are in the service you are no longer covered by the same rights as a civilian.

DREAM
DREAM

Really? So undocumented-hard-working folks don't pay taxes? How about this, bruce101: undocumented folks contributed $11.2 BILLION in local and state taxes!!! Don't be so ignorant!

http://www.immigrationpolicy.o...

bruce101
bruce101

what fucking part of illegal don't you understand?you can welcome invading mexicans but i will kick their asses back accross the border where they belong.

Bruces bestfriend
Bruces bestfriend

What a really great American lil ol' brucie is. HE done joint up wit a paratroop group. Now he can go around and show that he really stands up against ALL enemy's both foreign and domestic (you know those domestic enemy's that want to take away a natural born American citizenship and kick them from the country just because her husband has broken a civil law).Only problem for lil ol' brucie is that when heard about don't ask don't tell he got it all wrong and thought that when he was in the shower on his knees using his fellow troopers scrotum's as a bib that ain't no one was 'possed to tell on him, and since it was that cute little hispanic boy that told on him now he gosta hate on all dem dar spics.

Lmagana3
Lmagana3

your a fucking pussy is people like you that gives them the ok to do these things fucking saleout in there eyes your still a wetback

Robert g
Robert g

Fuk tht bitch jon..Hopeing the bad for other people, you fuking lil bitch.Fuk the border patrol! Nd fuk that bitch named jon.

bob gelder
bob gelder

Hey Tool, I never called you a racist, I said and repeat, you are an ignorant hater.The path to citizenship is FAR too narrow for the people who would gladly pay to become citizens. This is by design. The corporations that own the politicians find it much more profitable to exploit the undocumented than allow a path to citizenship. They use ignorant haters like you as tools.The fact is this state would no longer function if all the undocumented weren't here.

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