50+ officers raid mental health hospital in Georgia after patient found in freezer

50+ officers raid mental health hospital in Georgia after patient found in freezer
Officers raiding Lakeview facility (WSBTV.com)

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — More than 50 local police officers raided a mental health hospital in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Only WSB-TV was there when detectives pulled evidence and questioned employees.

Content Continues Below

Investigators spent hours going through evidence Friday at two Lakeview Behavioral Health buildings in Gwinnett County.

One is located on Medlock Bridge Road and the other is on One Technology Parkway.

For months, former patients and their families have complained of unexplained injuries after leaving Lakeview.

Police spent hours searching and seizing patient records and computers, as well as interviewing workers at the administrative office. Detectives said they believe they will find evidence of dozens of crimes.

“This is a very large-scale investigation,” said Gwinnett County Police Spokesperson Michele Pihera.

Officials brought their own truck and van for all the evidence they expected to find.

Authorities said they are looking into complaints of abuse, over-drugging and fraud at the facility owned by Acadia Healthcare.

“It appears all the employees are cooperative, they all understand why we are here,” Pihera said.

WSB-TV’s Tony Thomas has been investigating Lakeview for months.

Beth Tipton said her mother is a former patient and victim.

“She had bruising all over,” Tipton told Thomas. “It angers me.”

Thomas flew to Arkansas and New Mexico this fall, listening to whistleblowers at other company sites.

In Gwinnett County, police confirm they're focusing on 51 former patients.

“They could eliminate some of those cases, but they could also find evidence of more criminal activity,” Pihera said.

At Lakeview, no one would talk to WSB-TV but group CEO Jim Spruyt emailed saying: “We continue to work collaboratively and transparently with law enforcement as they follow up their investigation of uncorroborated complaints.”

“It's just a matter of going through a lot of paperwork,” Pihera said.

No charges have been filed. Both facilities are still open.