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Mentally Ill /Dangerous People
Old 07-03-2018, 06:03 PM   #1
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Mentally Ill /Dangerous People

All the mass murders committed by obviously mentally ill people has me concerned about some people I know. How do you tell if someone is mentally ill and is a danger?

For example, during the 2008 recession we bought a foreclosure in a very nice neighborhood with very large lots at a bargain price. It was run down and needed a lot of repairs. We had all the repairs done and moved into the house. Soon after moving in we were accosted on the street by a neighbor who accused us of bringing down the prices of the neighborhood because we bought the house at a bargain price. This neighbor continued to harass us the entire two years we lived in the neighborhood, constantly reporting us to the HOA for made up violations, making "almost" threats, bragging about his gun arsenal. Sometimes he would yell at us and his face would turn so red that I thought he would have a stroke. We filed complaints about him with the HOA but never called the police (we probably should have). He did the same thing to quite a few other people in the neighborhood. He was a bully and scary. I don't know if he was mentally ill or just mean. Finally it wore us down and we sold our house and moved (we did make a nice profit on the house).

I have since felt that I should have done something about this guy. I keep thinking that I will read in the paper that he has shot up the neighborhood.

I know a few other people who are similar. They seem to be powder kegs about to blow. Most of them own guns and brag about it.

I keep hearing the phrase "if you know something say something." When is it enough to say something? And who do you say something to?
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:09 PM   #2
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Great question and timely for me.

My asphalt contactor didn't pay the HOA fees he agreed to, when I complained on the only way I could(FB) he called me a couple times. Once to tell me to "F.O." the second to threaten to "follow me and punch my face in". I have not done anything with LE as DW is seriously afraid the guy is a nutcase. Perhaps I should but I know it would upset her.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by harllee View Post
All the mass murders committed by obviously mentally ill people has me concerned about some people I know. How do you tell if someone is mentally ill and is a danger?

For example, during the 2008 recession we bought a foreclosure in a very nice neighborhood with very large lots at a bargain price. It was run down and needed a lot of repairs. We had all the repairs done and moved into the house. Soon after moving in we were accosted on the street by a neighbor who accused us of bringing down the prices of the neighborhood because we bought the house at a bargain price. This neighbor continued to harass us the entire two years we lived in the neighborhood, constantly reporting us to the HOA for made up violations, making "almost" threats, bragging about his gun arsenal. Sometimes he would yell at us and his face would turn so red that I thought he would have a stroke. We filed complaints about him with the HOA but never called the police (we probably should have). He did the same thing to quite a few other people in the neighborhood. He was a bully and scary. I don't know if he was mentally ill or just mean. Finally it wore us down and we sold our house and moved (we did make a nice profit on the house).

I have since felt that I should have done something about this guy. I keep thinking that I will read in the paper that he has shot up the neighborhood.

I know a few other people who are similar. They seem to be powder kegs about to blow. Most of them own guns and brag about it.

I keep hearing the phrase "if you know something say something." When is it enough to say something? And who do you say something to?
Statistically, people who are clinically mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crime as opposed to perpetrators.

It seems to me that encounters like those you have described should be reported to law enforcement.
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Old 07-03-2018, 06:25 PM   #4
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There are a remarkable number number of emotionally disturbed, damaged human beings running around our various communities.


The current governmental authorities, to deal with such people, is woefully inadequate.



I was a police officer for forty-one years. Such individuals were a part of my job security.


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Mentally Ill /Dangerous People
Old 07-03-2018, 06:25 PM   #5
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Mentally Ill /Dangerous People

I have the same concerns about my sister’s ex. After one of the mass shootings in my state I posed the question to my local PD - what do you do if someone in your life has not committed a crime, but you fear they will soon snap? Here was their response (both paragraphs are theirs):

“You are not alone with your concern about a family member or friend who has displayed concerning behavior in the past. Unfortunately, law enforcement is in a precarious place when no crime has been committed and the individual does not exhibit specific signs of being a danger to themselves or others (which is many times the case).

My recommendation would be to contact the agency where your ex-brother in law lives and advise them of your concerns. Most likely there won't be anything they can proactively do, but at least they will have the information if any issues arise in the future.”
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:16 PM   #6
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T
I was a police officer for forty-one years. Such individuals were a part of my job security.
Yes indeed, I had 29 years 4 months in when I retired. If it weren't for that pesky Constitution always getting in the way....

For the rest of the forum members, that is the "problem". If someone hasn't committed a crime, being a jerk, or an asshat, or rude and obnoxious, is generally not a crime. At least not anyplace in the U.S. that I know of. I've heard more than one judge lament from the bench that "There should be a law against being stupid".

But for the described behaviors by harllee and MRG, by all means report it to the police. Sometimes there are local laws that make such behavior a chargeable offense, such as disorderly conduct, making threats, etc. Much will depend on the specifics of the case and how the law is written in that jurisdiction. But bear in mind they are almost certainly misdemeanors and it is unlikely that even a second or third offender will ever see the inside of a jail cell and if so not for long.

Take comfort though, that in the event you turn up dead the police will have some solid leads to work with to finally put them in jail for the felony.

Yeah, I know, bad humor. But that is the reality of the legal system I had to work with for almost 30 years.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:30 PM   #7
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For example, during the 2008 recession we bought a foreclosure in a very nice neighborhood with very large lots at a bargain price. It was run down and needed a lot of repairs. We had all the repairs done and moved into the house. Soon after moving in we were accosted on the street by a neighbor who accused us of bringing down the prices of the neighborhood because we bought the house at a bargain price.


During the recession a couple of houses in my neighborhood sold at bargain prices and I was happy it lowered my property taxes.

.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:45 PM   #8
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After watching the 20/20 program last Friday on road rage, I too am kinda worried about nut cases.

Specifically ones that lose it when driving, who knows if they have a gun or want to use their car as a deadly weapon.

I feel the need to go out and buy one of those dash mounted cameras to record everything??

Kind of curious to the ex law enforcement officers out there, how many people that you stopped or came into contact with carried a gun either that they admitted or that you noticed (on their person, glove box, under the seat)?
I'm not talking about people that were actually using a gun and therefore the police were called.

Just something you found out via questioning or being offered up by the 'suspect' when stopped or being questioned for something else i.e. speeding.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:49 PM   #9
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I don't worry about this at all.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:00 PM   #10
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I was never a real cop like Rich and Walt, but I did volunteer as one for 10 years.

My suggestion is to document occurrences; date and time, video footage, any written messages from facebook, email, etc. should you decide to speak to an officer/file a police report.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:13 PM   #11
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I feel the need to go out and buy one of those dash mounted cameras to record everything??
Not a bad idea, more for the normal traffic accident stuff which is far more likely, to answer the question of "Who ran the red light?".

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Kind of curious to the ex law enforcement officers out there, how many people that you stopped or came into contact with carried a gun either that they admitted or that you noticed (on their person, glove box, under the seat)?
Perhaps two or three. I worked in a wealthy area and for the most part the citizenry was well educated, well behaved, and it seemed like almost everyone either was a lawyer or lived next door to one so you'd better have your legal stuff down pat.

The most common offenses were thefts, burglaries, and traffic offenses, so violent crime was relatively uncommon. It did happen of course, just we're not talking downtown Baltimore. I did later work with a retired Baltimore officer and he and I worked in entirely different worlds. Basically, I had the "Country Club beat". Not quite Beverly Hills, but there were two Neiman-Marcus stores on the same road about eight miles apart.

But when the SHTF it was usually big time and often made national news.
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:14 PM   #12
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I was never a real cop like Rich and Walt, but I did volunteer as one for 10 years.

My suggestion is to document occurrences; date and time, video footage, any written messages from facebook, email, etc. should you decide to speak to an officer/file a police report.
OP here, good idea to document with video footage etc..

A question for the former policemen, what would be a chargeable offense or threat? What if the person says you are going to be sorry you said (or did) a certain thing? Like, if they said to me you are going to be sorry if you don't vote a certain way on an HOA proposal? What if they also talk a lot about all their guns in an intimidating way? If I call the police on the person threatening me could I be making things worse?
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:27 PM   #13
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Are individual HOA votes not kept secret? [I've never lived in an HOA neighborhood. Thank God my neighborhood is populated mostly by older people who mind their own business.]

Btw... the ID/Discovery true crime docudrama channel has a series called, "Fear Thy Neighbor."
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Old 07-05-2018, 07:41 PM   #14
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A question for the former policemen, what would be a chargeable offense or threat? What if the person says you are going to be sorry you said (or did) a certain thing? Like, if they said to me you are going to be sorry if you don't vote a certain way on an HOA proposal? What if they also talk a lot about all their guns in an intimidating way? If I call the police on the person threatening me could I be making things worse?
Generally the law is going to require that to constitute a threat it will have to be very specific. For example, there was a case in Washington, D.C. in which a person told a a police officer that "I'm gonna cut you". In some cultures that is a common and general non-specific threat, in others, it is very specific, and the court ruled that the officer was justified in shooting that person because in the officer's perception that was a specific and immediate threat. But much depends on the context of the situation in which those words are spoken. Two guys joshing around at a party is far different from an on-street confrontation.

But it is unlikely that a court would hold that "You're gonna be sorry" standing alone would be a specific threat. But again, the case law matters, the specifics and context of the case matter, and if in doubt go ahead and report it. The worst that's going to happen is that you'll be told "We can't help you because there has been no crime committed".

Similarly, what exactly is "talking about a gun collection in an intimidating way"? What, exactly, is "intimidating"? You'll have to be prepared to explain what they did and said that made you feel threatened. And there may or may not be a law in that jurisdiction to cover that.

This is where the state and local laws matter a very great deal, and they do vary a lot from state to state and even within a state so I cannot give you a specific answer because there isn't one. This is why when people try to get a specific answer from an attorney the response is likely to be "Well, it depends..."
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:05 PM   #15
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It’s not necessarily the mentally ill...

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Statistically, people who are clinically mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crime as opposed to perpetrators.

It seems to me that encounters like those you have described should be reported to law enforcement.
Absolutely. We all would love to believe that mental illness causes people to act out violently. Certainly in a number of cases, the perpetrators of these much-publicized mass murders may have a mental illness. But others are people who have bought into the idea that violence will solve their problems, and that other people are the source of those problems. This is more pervasive in our culture than we would like to believe.

Sometimes one might obtain some relief from a restraining order or harassment order - the technicalities differ greatly from one jurisdiction to another. But don’t feel you have to make a “report” to get advice from the police. Go down to the station and ask for advice. The local bully might already be on their radar, or they may know of a remedy other than pressing charges. In Massachusetts, where I worked as a psychologist in the courts, restraining orders were a civil matter, and the police would have directed you to the civil court.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:12 PM   #16
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For example, during the 2008 recession we bought a foreclosure in a very nice neighborhood with very large lots at a bargain price. It was run down and needed a lot of repairs. We had all the repairs done and moved into the house. Soon after moving in we were accosted on the street by a neighbor who accused us of bringing down the prices of the neighborhood because we bought the house at a bargain price. I have since felt that I should have done something about this guy.
I would have answered "What, you think it would be better to leave it vacant so some squatters could move in and sell drugs?"
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #17
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One thing I've learned as I get older is that it works best to be nice to everyone, even if they are being a complete jerk back to you. I try to never get angry with someone and never say anything mean or hurtful, even if I think they deserve it. It helps me keep my stress levels low, and it defuses the situation before it can escalate to something worse.

I'm not saying this will completely prevent a wacko from going after you, but it probably won't hurt.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:36 PM   #18
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Kind of curious to the ex law enforcement officers out there, how many people that you stopped or came into contact with carried a gun either that they admitted or that you noticed (on their person, glove box, under the seat)?
I'm not talking about people that were actually using a gun and therefore the police were called.

Just something you found out via questioning or being offered up by the 'suspect' when stopped or being questioned for something else i.e. speeding.
Not LE. Realize in many states you are allowed to have a legal firearm in your vehicle, camper, or tent without any permit or training. It's part of the castle doctrine.

I used to have my CCW and shorty after I go it I was going down I70 and everyone stopped except the person behind me. Her car was totaled and police/wrecker summoned. As I was talking with the officer I mentioned I had a 9mm in the console as the CCW instructor recommended. His response was he treated everyone as if they were carrying.
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Old 07-05-2018, 08:47 PM   #19
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But don’t feel you have to make a “report” to get advice from the police. Go down to the station and ask for advice. The local bully might already be on their radar, or they may know of a remedy other than pressing charges. In Massachusetts, where I worked as a psychologist in the courts, restraining orders were a civil matter, and the police would have directed you to the civil court.
Very good advice. Many times the town bully is known. Most of the time our processes work. Sometimes things go wrong.

When I was still lumber, this incident happened. One of the loggers said he knew him from the local bar. He wasn't a friend, he claimed Ken didn't have any.

I'm not suggesting you get 40 of your friends together in your town square . It's interesting to read.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_McElroy
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:27 PM   #20
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We had one person snap at work about 11 years ago and our security had to walk him out. He was an engineer that had been hired but rarely showed up to work. He was confronted by his supervisor and HR three weeks after he was hired and he completely snapped. We learned that after our company terminated him, he was working at JPL and never left that company when he joined ours. Which explained his absence. So much for their screening and ours also for that matter. He then went on a killing spree a few months later on Christmas Eve. He was called the Santa Clause killer and it was known as the West Covina massacre.
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