A former UCSB student who ran down and killed four fellow students with his car during a rampage in 2001 has been released from Patton State Mental Hospital. An official with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office confirmed with KEY News that David Attias was released from Patton Hospital on October 18th, a place he called home for ten years.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman says Attias was moved to a new facility somewhere in Southern California. The exact location must remain confidential per the judge’s order in the case.
However, Waldman tells KEY News that Attias is not in Santa Barbara County or Ventura County. The current location is the first stop for Attias. He will eventually move to a second and final unlocked community facility. Officials with Patton State Hospital refused to release any information about Attias citing privacy laws.
Attias was convicted in 2002, of four counts of second degree murder and the same jury later found him to be insane. The District Attorney’s office says with those jury decisions, officially, Attias was found to be not guilty by reason of insanity. The horrible scene unfolded on February 23, 2001, on Sabado Tarde Street in Isla Vista when Attias gunned the engine of his car and sped into a crowd of students hitting five and killing four of them.
At the scene witnesses heard him say he was the “Angel of Death.” Ruth Levy, Elie Isreal, Chris Divis and Nick Bourdakis died at the scene. A fifth person, Albert Levy, suffered life threatening injuries. He survived but suffered debilitating injuries. His sister Ruth is one of the four who died.
At a court hearing earlier this year, Attias sat in a light blue shirt next to his Public Defender Deerdra Edgar. His condition at the time was described by Edgar who said Attias is regularly following his doctors medical plan. “He welcomes his medication because he sees the benefits that they have given him. He now understands that this is a medical regiment for the rest of his life,” said Edger to Judge Thomas Adams.
A parent of one of the victims, said she opposed releasing Attias from Patton Hospital, “Ten years for killing four people is not enough time and I don’t think a mental illness is a reason or excuse to get away with murder,” said Tricia Bordakis.
Her husband Tony Bordakis said, “I lost a son. I can’t bring back my son. But I don’t want to see this happening again and it can very well happen again.” Another parent Abby Pollack, who lost her son Elie Israel, said “I think the worst fear of all the parents of the victims and the friends and the families and this whole huge community is of course that the fear is that he will do something again and will not continue his treatment plan when he is on his own.”
Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman told the court, “this hearing is about public safety.” When it came to a possible change in the facility where Attias is ordered to stay, she said the only way the public would be safe is if Attias remained “in a locked facility.”
Waldman said Attias would have to show he would not be a risk. She said he could not do that. “No danger of mass murdering again. No danger of being sexually aggressive with someone. No danger of punching someone in the face or publicly fighting or driving while under the influence or damaging someone’s property. No danger of any kind. He won’t be able to meet that burden.”
However, after six days of hearings in June and months of consideration, Judge Adams ruled on August 30th granting a petition by Attias to be released from Patton State Hospital into an unlocked community facility.