Group home worker says tenant attacked him with chemicals - New York News

Group home worker says tenant attacked him with chemicals

Posted: Updated:
Michael Wathen is accused of attacking a group home worker with a mixture of chemicals. Michael Wathen is accused of attacking a group home worker with a mixture of chemicals.
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) -

"Do not get relaxed.  Don't get comfortable on the couch.  If you do, you'll never wake up again."  It was a threat Eric Baker said he never thought Michael Wathen would make good on, but as evidenced in photographs, Baker is lucky to be alive.

Baker is a direct care worker at a group home in Farmington Hills.  Wathen was one of the tenants.  February 23, the 57-year-old Wathen was reportedly angry.  Baker had told him not to smoke in his room.

"He comes behind me, and I turn around getting ready to ask him what do you need.  He throws the chemicals and everything in my face.  So it's a tall cup, and it's like burning.  I'm like, 'Oh, man, what the heck did you do?'" Baker explained.  "I'm burning like fire.  It's actually burning the skin off my nose and stuff at this time and burning off my face."

Baker worried about the two other tenants said he yelled for them to call 911.  He said Wathen was still coming at him, now with a plant in a huge pot.

"He takes it and he throws it at my face.  When he throws it at my face, it hits me [in the chest,] and it just breaks," Baker said.

He was still standing and still burning when he said Wathen hit him with another plant, then got a knife.

"He comes back with a huge butcher knife," said Baker.  "He's coming at me at my face... and I grab a skillet and I'm like frightening him off."

He said Wathen then went outside and broke out every window in his van before police pulled up and arrested him.

Police and paramedics finally got Baker into the shower trying to get the chemicals off his skin believed to be a combination of bleach and hot cooking oil and who knows what else.  Baker told police he couldn't leave his other tenants, so the officers stayed with them while Baker was rushed to the hospital.  He said he has no doubt Wathen wanted him dead.

"It just would've been horrific, and I'm just glad that God was there that he didn't," Baker said.

Now as he travels a long road to recovery dealing with the physical and emotional scars, his wife and son are traumatized by what happened to him, he is grateful to the Farmington Hills police and his pastor.  He is grateful for all of the prayers, but determined to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.

"The people that work in this field, they don't have any protection.  There should be rights for consumers, but [there are] no rights for the people that work there," said Baker.

As for Wathen, he is a career criminal and a convicted sex offender.  He is locked up and charged with attempted murder.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody on drug charges after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-07-31 16:17:30 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Three arrested after military reservist killed during carjacking

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:01 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:01:39 GMT
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
    A third suspect is under arrest in the carjacking and murder of a young man outside the Superland Market at Schoolcraft Road and Rutland Street Monday night.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Road-trip vacations that don't break the bank

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:37 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:37:29 GMT
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
    Last-minute vacations don't need to be a headache or ridiculously expensive, especially if you make it a road trip. Even if you don't have a car, renting one can be an affordable option.Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance contributor to TheStreet.com, has some suggestions.
  • Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki to run New York City Marathon

    Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:42:50 GMT
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
  • Trench collapse traps workers

    Trench collapse traps workers

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:56 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:56:22 GMT
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
    Two construction workers were rescued from a collapsed trench outside a home in Rye, N.Y. on Thursday.  Firefighters from across Westchester County responded to the scene at 15 Bradford Ave. at about noon.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Community wants justice as investigation of Armada teen's murder continues

    Community wants justice as investigation of Armada teen's murder continues

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:23 GMT
    Wearing pink, the mother of 14-year-old April Millsap's boyfriend -- remembered the teen Thursday as the small village of Armada tries to cope."It's very hard, it's in such a spotlight, as a mom you don't think it's going to be like this," said Monique Albertson, mother of April Millsap's boyfriend. "Everyone is just hanging in there the best we can. It's overwhelming."Albertson, joining hundreds of people, police, classmates - most wearing pink which was April Millsap's favorite color."We're...
    Wearing pink, the mother of 14-year-old April Millsap's boyfriend -- remembered the teen Thursday as the small village of Armada tries to cope."It's very hard, it's in such a spotlight, as a mom you don't think it's going to be like this," said Monique Albertson, mother of April Millsap's boyfriend. "Everyone is just hanging in there the best we can. It's overwhelming."Albertson, joining hundreds of people, police, classmates - most wearing pink which was April Millsap's favorite color."We're...
  • Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Romulus cop in hot water after road rage incident

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:47:41 GMT
    An off duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident.Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.According to the report, police responded to a road rage incident between two trucks on I-94 in Belleville on May 29th.Van buren police pulled one of the trucks over which was driven by Brooks, and found a loaded handgun in the car.Brooks was released on personal ...
    An off duty Romulus police officer is facing felony charges in connection with a road rage incident.Officer David Brooks is facing felonious assault and felony firearms charges after an investigation by Van Buren Township detectives.According to the report, police responded to a road rage incident between two trucks on I-94 in Belleville on May 29th.Van buren police pulled one of the trucks over which was driven by Brooks, and found a loaded handgun in the car.Brooks was released on personal ...
  • SOURCES: Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    SOURCES: Detroit Tigers acquire pitcher David Price

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:46:10 GMT
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
    The Tigers have acquired pitcher David Price from the Rays in a three-team trade that reportedly involves the Mariners, according to reports. The clubs have not commented on or confirmed the report.  Jackson goes to Mariners; Smyly, Franklin also involved in three-way deal
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices