The Pasadena Star-News
Pasadena psychiatrist faces assault charges after allegedly attacking nanny, former employee
By Stephanie K. Baer
May 24, 2016
Dirk de Brito, 53, of La Canada Flintridge, has been charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force, making criminal threats, interfering with a communication device, having a concealed firearm and exhibiting a firearm in connection with separate incidents in October and January. De Brito runs a private psychiatry practice out of an office located at 751 N. Fair Oaks Ave and specializes in adult ADHD and depression, according to his office’s Yelp page.
In the evening on Oct. 14, 2015, de Brito’s nanny April Montes was driving to his house in La Canada Flintridge with two of his children when he called her to tell her she was fired, according to testimony Montes provided during a court hearing last month. When Montes arrived, de Brito took his 2-year-old son from her, sat him on the couch and then put Montes in a headlock and began punching her and yelling profanities at her, according to the tesitmony.
“He said I abused his two year old,” Montes told the judge. And then, “put me in a headlock, started hitting me.”
He then threatened to kill Montes and bury her in the backyard before ordering her to pack her things, according to her testimony.
Montes said she tried to call the police from her room, but de Brito took her cell phones from her and disconnected the land line in her room. He continued to push her and yell at her.
“He was preventing me from calling any ‑- I tried calling multiple ways, tried asking for help, tried yelling through the window. He would threaten me the whole time,” Montes said, adding that he kept her in sight during the whole incident and even followed her into the bathroom.
De Brito was arrested the following morning and posted $50,000 for bail, according to online booking records.
A few months later, the psychiatrist was arrested a second time after allegedly assaulting his office manager Jeanice Skeen in the parking lot behind his Pasadena office building. This time, de Brito was allegedly armed.
Skeen had voluntarily left her job on Jan. 11 and had arranged to pick up her final pay check and return a company vehicle at 10 p.m. the next day, according to her testimony. When Skeen arrived, another employee met her in the parking lot, asked her to sign some paperwork and handed her an envelope that she thought contained her paycheck, according to her testimony. Minutes later, as Skeen began to walk away from the area, de Brito appeared in the parking lot in his car. He drove up to her and began yelling. He was wearing a bullet proof vest, according to testimony.
De Brito said, “‘Do you want your check, you b—-?’ … I said, ‘What are you talking about I have my check right here,’” Skeen told the judge. He then told her that she had a “fake check” before jumping out of his car.
Skeen opened the envelope she had been given and found a photocopy of an old pay stub, according to her testimony.
“De Brito is still yelling at me,” Skeen said. “And then he just kept waving the check and saying, ‘Don’t you want your money?’”
At that point, Skeen grabbed the paperwork she had signed and started ripping them up when de Brito “grabbed” her and threw her to the ground, according to her testimony. She said de Brito kicked her and then returned to his vehicle. Skeen tried to block him from getting inside the car when she “saw him reach with his left hand to his waist and pull out a gun that was holstered,” she said.
He hit her right shoulder with the gun, causing her to fall down again, according to her testimony. De Brito then got back in his car and drove off. Skeen was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital where she was treated for some bleeding, bruising, a sprained wrist and a hematoma on her brain.
Skeen said she abruptly walked off the job because of verbal abuse inflicted by de Brito.
“I was being berated on a constant daily basis, so at that moment, I reached my limit,” Skeen said her in testimony.
De Brito was arrested a few hours later. He posted $30,000 for bail and remains out of custody.
De Brito’s attorney Christopher Chaney said after a court hearing earlier this month that the psychiatrist’s practice has not been affected by the charges and that his client was a good doctor. He declined to comment further.
De Brito is a licensed physician and certified psychiatrist with admitting privileges at Huntington Memorial Hospital, though he is currently on leave of absence from the health care facility. He did not return calls requesting comment.
He is due back in court for a pretrial conference on June 23.