MALIBU—The family of a local Malibu artist who was severely beaten on July 4, filed a f lawsuit against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, claiming that the officials ignored the medical needs of the victim.
At 10:30 p.m. on July 4, Stafford Taylor, 64, left the party at a friends house and started walking. He was later mugged and left by his attackers to wander Pacific Coast Highway in critical condition. He suffered brain damage and has a difficult time speaking.
Terry Taylor, Stafford’s wife, is convinced that the sheriff’s deputies thought Taylor was homeless, the Los Angeles Times reported. His family stated that Taylor didn’t receive medical attention for hours after the attack after he was dropped off at the Malibu Community Labor Exchange, where he was found on a bench half-naked. Several hours later an employee contacted 911 and Taylor was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for treatment. Terry was out of town visiting family in the Midwest when her husband was attacked.
The lawsuit addresses recent actions by law enforcement officials dropping off homeless individuals in areas where they are thought to be less dangerous and out of the way.
An article published by the Los Angeles Times, indicates “A decade ago, Los Angeles faced national scrutiny for a series of highly publicized cases in which police and hospitals dumped homeless people — often in downtown’s skid row.” The article goes on to write that the process has not ceased and is also not contained to skid row.
Stafford’s wife created a GoFundMe page to raise $125,000 to cover Taylor’s medical expenses. As of Wednesday, December 12, 2018 the GoFundMe has raised $28,480.
“Currently, Stafford is in an induced coma to help his brain heal. The current timeline is at least 2 weeks in the NeuroScience Trauma ICU, then 1-2 years of 24-hour rehabilitation,” Terry wrote on the GoFundMe page.
On Facebook, Taylor shared a status on her husband’s recovery stating, “He opened one eye spontaneously today even though so sedated!!”
Stafford is an artist and a self-employed master carpenter, and does not have medical insurance.
“He had been taken off a blood cooling machine to try and control his shivering. The shivering sets off waves of elevated brain swelling. He is still sedated and having his breathing helped by intubation but the sedation is less than yesterday❤️
Stafford has been recently studying the power of collective thought and I am witness to the fruition of that truth. I humbly thank all of you for your love. Love is all there is❤️
In peace,” Terry Taylor wrote on the GoFundMe page on July 13.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department release the following statement:
“We have been in close contact with the family and care about the well-being of Mr. Taylor. We have followed up with the family at the hospital and offered assistance to them during this challenging time. The investigation into the assault of Mr. Taylor is on-going and we are looking at everything surrounding this incident. We are also conducting our own review of the incident as it relates to policies and procedures, as we always do.”
Miles Taylor wrote on the GoFundMe page on Sunday, December 9:
“This is us! Five months and 2 days since his assault, Stafford has successfully been discharged from inpatient medical facilities!!
The last 3 weeks he has been at Rancho Los Amigos inpatient working with physical, occupational and speech therapists with amazing results. On Nov. 1 his bone flap was reattached to his skull and since then it’s been a miracle. It’s like his brain was waiting to be whole again, waiting to wake up. Every day of therapy has produced tangible results; walking, talking, reading, problem solving and so much more.
His recovery will continue with outpatient therapy and that will be in Minneapolis MN- a move that will put us with our children and grandchildren. I know you’re saying “ it’s so cold there” but the love of family and his continued recovery will be what warms us inside and out.
I affirm the power of each loving thought, kind word, prayer and healing rays of light that came our way. For every tear I have shed, I also have felt the power of that love and support. For every positive milestone Stafford has crossed I acknowledge the healing of your energies sent to him and for our future I know love from family and friends will sustain us.”
Anyone with details about the attack is asked to contact Detective Wheatcroft of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at (818) 878-1808.
Written By Emily Loudermilk and Casey Jacobs