Police: Social worker attacked by client with a screwdriver

Sayed Sadat (Austin Police Department)
Sayed Sadat (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 53-year-old Austin man is in jail accused of assaulting his social worker with a screwdriver.

According to an arrest affidavit, Sayed Sadat had a regularly scheduled meeting with his social worker at his apartment on Tuesday. During the meeting, some problems arose related to the language line translator the two use to communicate.

After being there for one hour, the social worker told Sadat she had to go, but he got upset and insisted she call the translator again, continued the affidavit. As the social worker tried to leave, she said Sadat hit her on the head with his fist. The victim told police Sadat refused to let her go and physically restrained her as she yelled for help.

As he pushed her away from the door, the victim told police Sadat grabbed an eight-inch screwdriver and made a slicing motion towards her. The woman fell to the floor as Sadat got on top of her and stabbed her in the face, according to the affidavit.

The screwdriver hit her eyelid, but was stopped from entering her eye socket because she was wearing glasses. During the struggle, the worker hit the panic button on her phone and was able to send an “SOS” text to her husband.

Sadat is being held on a $100,000 bond. He faces charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated kidnapping charges.

Social work in demand, sometimes in danger

Brenda Cazares is one of about 240 graduates who will be receiving a degree from the School of Social Work this weekend from the University of Texas. A relatively small number compared to other majors and degrees when you consider more than 8000 freshman arrived on campus four years ago. Cazares, who will receive her masters, has big plans for the future.

“I would love to work in a hospital-setting working with families and children,” she said.

Social work takes a certain type of person. The school’s Assistant Dean for Master’s Programs Jane Kretzschmar said it requires a person to step out from behind a desk or an office and work into a community with real and persistent mental health issues.

“I think it takes person who recognizes that. They have to be smart they have to be aware,” said Kretzschmar. Although CPS case workers are facing high workloads and the agency has considered nixing the requirement of a four-year degree, Kretzschmar said there is value in the education experience for both the worker and the client.

“We think we do train them in a way that makes it better for clients and families.”

Facing the demand and danger has not deterred Cazares who hopes to carve out a niche working with Spanish-speaking families.

“Many of the people in social work know what they are coming in for. They do not see it as a danger, they are here because they like it.”

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