Acupuncturist's parents sought evaluation Kin of man accused of abuse of patient won court order for psychiatric test on him

September 20, 1996|By Lisa Respers | Lisa Respers,SUN STAFF

The Towson acupuncturist accused of abusing a patient and practicing without a license also was the focus of court action last year -- when his parents sought an emergency psychiatric evaluation of him.

Baltimore County District Court records show that Milton and Shirley Garland were granted, a court order for the evaluation of Neil Garland in January 1995.

In their request, the Garlands said they feared their son and cited a 1992 incident in which he allegedly attacked his mother. The couple wrote that their son had been "calling family and friends with horrible language and spewing hatred towards us. He calls us and says we won't have him as a son anymore and he will get even with us."

Garland had been hospitalized or evaluated three times in Brazil before 1991, at Spring Grove Hospital Center in 1991 and Sinai Hospital in 1992, according to the petition.

Garland, 42, of the 400 block of Timonium Road remained jailed yesterday after he failed to post $250,000 bail. He is the first acupuncturist in Maryland to have his license suspended, and the first to be charged criminally with practicing without a valid license.

The state acupuncture board suspended the license in July, after an elderly cancer patient said Garland pressured him into abandoning other treatment and forced him to participate in a session in which he was allegedly restrained, burned and made to sit in his own waste. After burning the patient with herbs, Garland tried to seal several of the two dozen scars and scabs with Elmer's Glue, according to the order for suspension.

It was unclear yesterday whether the order for the emergency psychiatric evaluation had been carried out, and what the results were. A woman answering the phone at the parents' home yesterday declined to identify herself or comment.

Assistant Attorney General Sidney Rocke said the request for an evaluation came after Garland was arrested, suspected of assaulting his mother and resisting arrest. Authorities are continuing to investigate and are interviewing more of his patients, Rocke said.

Officials at Spring Grove could not be reached for comment yesterday. A spokesman at Sinai said patient confidentiality rules prevented him from commenting on whether Garland had been hospitalized there.

Garland operates the Ginseng Shop on Allegheny Avenue in the heart of Towson. On the glass door of the now-darkened shop, Garland lists the New England School of Acupuncture under his name and the title "licensed acupuncturist."

Academic dean Jeanne Christianson confirmed that Garland attended the Boston school, but said he did not complete the program and did not graduate.

Pub Date: 9/20/96

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