A Wallingford man and psychiatric nurse at the former Riverview Children’s Hospital in Middletown is facing a felony threatening charge after police said he made a comment about killing people at his place of work.
John A. Lesick Jr., 43, of 34 Terrace Gardens, Wallingford was taken into custody on Feb. 21 just two days after police said he voiced the threat to a relative, referencing employer, the Albert J. Solnit Psychiatric Center South Campus in Middletown.
“The comment was about killing, in general,” said Lt. Marc Mikulski, Wallingford police spokesman, when asked whether the alleged threat was against any one person. “He never made an actual threat…. He never communicated a threat at the hospital.”
Lesick made the comment on Feb. 19, and on Feb. 21, the relative contacted Middletown police, who in turn notified Wallingford police, Mikulski explained. Lesick was immediately arrested on a charge of first-degree threatening, which is a Class D felony, and a breach of peace.
Lesick has been out on administrative leave from the hospital since Dec. 3 after an unspecified incident involving a patient, Mikulski said.
serves youth who are under the care of the state's Department of Children and Families.
The hospital provides comprehensive care to children and adolescents with severe mental illness and related behavioral and emotional problems who cannot be safely assessed or treated in a less restrictive setting.
Reached for comment about the arrest, DCF Spokesman Josh Howroyd only said, “this matter concerns an on-going police investigation and therefore we are deferring from making any direct comments at this time.”
“DCF is fully cooperating with law enforcement and taking steps needed to provide for the safety and security of our clients and our employees,” Howroyd said.
When asked if Lesick was in possession of any materials, such as weapons, to carry out any threat, Mikulski said he was in possession of some older firearms he had inherited. He said Wallingford police seized all of those weapons.
Lesick was release after posting a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court in two weeks.