Skip to main content

Incidents involving teens at MN mental health facilities raise questions

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Two Minnesota mental health facilities are under the microscope following reported missteps by hospital workers and a state department.

Scrutiny of the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter is continuing in the wake of a teenage patient's violent attack on a female employee earlier this month, with the Star Tribune reporting the 16-year-old shouldn't have been there in the first place.

The boy reportedly bashed the woman's head into a brick wall a number of times, sending her to the hospital.

According to the Star Tribune, court documents reveal the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) violated a 2011 court order prohibiting the transfer of patients to security hospitals if they are only suffering from developmental disabilities – as is apparently the case of the teen involved in the attack.

The DHS website indicates the St. Peter hospital is used to house "people who have been committed by the court as mentally ill and dangerous."

The situation has prompted calls from Gov. Mark Dayton and some Minnesota lawmakers for change at the facility, where the number of patient assaults on workers is on pace for a record high, KARE 11 reports.

Incident in St. Cloud

An employee at the St. Cloud Children's Home has been disciplined for leaving a 14-year-old patient "on risk status for suicide" alone in a calming room, where the youth was later found with a sweatshirt wrapped around their neck, according to the St. Cloud Times.

The incident happened in May, and the paper notes the teen was ultimately unharmed. But the staffer in question was cited for “maltreatment as to neglect" – it's unclear whether the person will be subject to any further action.

The home is run by Catholic Charities, part of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Next Up


Mall of America shooting suspects arrested in Chicago

The two suspects were spotted leaving a barber shop.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

Walz: Increased state law enforcement presence to stay in Twin Cities

A multi-agency effort to curb crime will go on until further notice.


Bloomington PD to provide update on Mall of America shooting investigation

There's unconfirmed reports the suspected gunman and an accomplice have been arrested.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 3.14.27 PM

Motorcyclist found dead behind guardrail 6 hours after crash

The crash happened before sunset Wednesday, but no one called 911.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 2.49.44 PM

Strike vote set for 15,000 Minnesota nurses

If the nurses walk off the job, Minnesota would be home to one of the largest nurses strikes in U.S. history.


Iowa Gov. asks court to lift injunction on 'heartbeat' abortion ban

A court challenge seeks to revive Iowa's abortion ban.

zipper merge, construction

6 transportation projects in Minnesota get $100M federal funding

The projects extend to areas all across the state.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, August 9

The number of cases in the latest reporting period dropped compared to the previous week's update.

Screen Shot 2022-08-11 at 11.27.17 AM

Takeaways from Minneapolis' new gun violence report

The rise in violent crime in Minneapolis is showing signs of plateauing.