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.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Parks Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Parks Service bans drones over Appalachian Trail

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:11 AM EDT2014-08-21 10:11:26 GMT
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
    The National Park Service has banned drones from flying over the Appalachian Trail. The Park Service said Wednesday the interim rule prohibits launching, landing or operating unmanned aircraft from or on Appalachian National Scenic Trail lands. The ban takes effect immediately and lasts until the Park Service can develop an appropriate policy. 
  • Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:31:51 GMT
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:56 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:56:27 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed one person in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said.
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices