Florida

Florida man threatens to stab students because elementary school is ‘too patriotic,’ cops say

What are the warning signs of mental illness?

About 75 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But the average delay between onset and intervention is 8 to 10 years, meaning people could go years before getting help.
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About 75 percent of lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 24, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But the average delay between onset and intervention is 8 to 10 years, meaning people could go years before getting help.

A 22-year-old Tampa man is undergoing psychiatric evaluation after threatening to stab students and staff at Bellamy Elementary School with a kitchen knife, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies say.

Crystal Clark, chief communications officer for HCSO, released a statement saying the man “disliked the school because the exterior is painted like an American flag and he had negative views of patriotism toward the United States.”

Bellamy Elementary School is named after Francis Bellamy, who authored the Pledge of Allegiance in 1882 and spent seven years living in the Tampa area.

The man has not been charged with a crime and remains unidentified as he undergoes evaluation; deputies say he has a history of mental illness. Deputies say the man told his roommate Monday morning of his intentions to get inside the school with a kitchen knife.

According to WFLA, deputies responded to the man’s home and did not find evidence leading to a credible threat.

Clark told WFLA, “An investigation is ongoing and charges could follow. However, there is currently no safety threat for students, parents or staff of Bellamy Elementary.”

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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