Former Associated Students President Cervin Morris was detained yesterday after he allegedly disturbed Goleta emergency staff.
Prior to his detainment, Morris was transported by ambulance to the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital citing leg and stomach pains from a previous surgery. At around 3:30 p.m., he was taken by authorities for allegedly disturbing the hospital’s emergency staff and sent to the Crisis and Emergency Recovery Services facility in Santa Barbara for a mandated 72-hour stay and psychiatric evaluation.
During his hospital visit, Morris asked staff for medication related to injuries he had sustained two months ago. He also requested his medical records.
The former A.S. president said he had accidentally driven an all-terrain vehicle off of a bridge while teaching students in Mexico, which left him in a coma for three to four days.
“I flatlined twice,” Morris said. “My lungs filled with blood, but I did not break a single bone.”
Since the incident, Morris said he has sought medical treatment for his injuries at various hospitals.
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital Clinical Manager Leslie Houston said Morris has visited the facility many times in the past few weeks.
“This isn’t the first time he has been by the hospital for something like this,” Houston said.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Lt. Butch Arnoldi said Morris was not arrested, but instead taken to a semi-secure Santa Barbara facility where staff will evaluate his mental health for a period of 72 hours.
The detention is commonly referred to as a “5150” policy and allows health professionals certified by the State Dept. of Mental Health to involuntarily detain persons whom they suspect are a danger to themselves or others due to an alleged mental illness. During the detention, individuals are sent to a care facility for up to 72 hours, during which time professionals evaluate the individuals’ mental health.
Morris served as the A.S. president during the 2004-05 school year. During this time, Morris pled “no contest” to an assault charge he received after he hit a man with a bottle.
Despite this, Associated Students Government Advisor Aaron Jones, who had worked with Morris during the former UCSB student’s tenure at the university, said he remembered Morris as a caring young man and hoped to hear from him soon.
“I hold him in high regard,” Jones said. “He’s very passionate about social justice… and he’s very charismatic.”
Prior to his recent detainment, Morris entered the Daily Nexus office on Sunday night and alleged that the IVFP had wrongfully arrested him two to three weeks ago. Morris said he was sent to the Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and alleged that the staff had misdiagnosed him. Afterward, he said he was sent to a psychiatric ward at Vista Del Mar Hospital in Ventura and alleged that the staff wrongfully detained him for five days.
Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Vista Del Mar Hospital staff declined to comment on the accusations, citing doctor-patient privilege. IVFP deputies also declined to comment on the matter.