My son is 24 years old and he was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. For several months I have repeatedly called the Manatee County Sheriff's Office for help.
I am repeatedly told by the officers that "he has rights" and then they leave. I have had him Baker Acted but they only keep him for 72 hours.
Well, last Sunday he was clearly having a psychotic break and I called the police. The officer who came on a previous occasion responded and said again there's nothing we can do and let him go.
On Monday I received three calls stating that Sunday night my son laid in the middle of U.S. 301 at night. Sounds like a suicide attempt to me.
I also was told that police were called by people who saw this and they came, got my son out of the street and let him walk away.
My son is currently in Cornerstone now. I understand he has rights. Clearly he is sick and their job is to protect. He is sick and he needs protection from himself and laying in the middle of a highway screaming.
I am a mother with a sick child and no matter what his age, he's my son.
I have emailed Charles Smith and Darryl Rouson concerning this, as our system is broken in this county when it comes to the mentally ill. I need help in this situation because one night a car may not see him laying in the road.
What's a mother's right is what I want the sheriff's office to understand. What are the rights of the driver who could have killed him and have to live with that because, according to multiple officers, "he has the right to be mentally ill." He needs help and isn't that what the police are for? I need the public to read this letter.