Man arrested after Cleveland Clinic worker abducted, assaulted

A man was arrested in connection with the abduction and assault of a female healthcare worker at Cleveland Clinic's campus in Weston, Fla., according to a news release from the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

Law enforcement identified Joel Cossio, 31, as the suspect.

Officials said Mr. Cossio was captured in Charlotte County, about two hours from where the Cleveland Clinic worker was abducted, and he will face charges in Broward County.

According to the sheriff's office, the female victim arrived at work about 7:20 a.m. Jan. 9 when she was attacked by a man, forced back into her vehicle and sexually battered before being dropped off at a Target in Sunrise, Fla. Officials said the assault was reported at 8:12 a.m. Jan. 9, and Broward Sheriff's Office deputies responded to the victim's location.

In a statement shared with Becker's Hospital Review, Cleveland Clinic Florida said: "We are deeply troubled and saddened by the incident involving an employee in a parking lot on our Weston Hospital campus. … Our thoughts are with our employee and their family." 

The statement also says the health system is "committed to the safety and security of all patients, visitors and employees," and it is "working closely with local law enforcement on their investigation." The health system did not release any additional information out of respect for the employee.

A statement on behalf of Mr. Cossio's family was also released.

"The family's thoughts and prayers are currently with the victim, the victim's family, and with Joel," the statement says, according to Local 10 News. "Their son suffers from mental illness and left home [that] morning after an argument regarding his medication. They would like to thank the Broward Sheriff's Office, Det. [Robert] Rausch, and the law enforcement officers who acted on the family's information to apprehend Joel without incident. The family has no other comment at this time."


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