St. Joseph man formally charged in school threat

St. Joseph man formally charged in school threat

URBANA — A St. Joseph man in custody for allegedly making threatening remarks about causing harm at an area high school has a history of conflict with students and allegedly tried to kill himself earlier this month.

Uriah N. Fosdick, 34, who lives across the street from the St. Joseph-Ogden High School, was arraigned Tuesday on a single charge of making a terrorist threat, alleging he made a threatening comment on Saturday to a Champaign County sheriff's deputy who had come to his home to serve him with a notice to appear in court for an earlier disorderly conduct charge.

Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz said she could recall filing the Class X felony terrorist threat charge only once before in 2010, against a man with mental issues who threatened to shoot News-Gazette employees over a letter to the editor he wanted published.

Rietz said high school officials and the sheriff's office have attempted to work with Fosdick for several months to resolve his conflicts with high school students.

"He and his wife rent a house across the street from the high school. For the past approximately one year he's had issues with students who he believes are playing their music too loudly or honking their horns outside his house or otherwise aggravating him. He believes it's purposeful," she said.

"He, in response, has approached them either in the school parking lot or by following them in a threatening manner or getting out and yelling at them," she said.

She said he has called the sheriff's office several times to report students honking their horns outside his home. She cited one report where he called the sheriff's office after finding a Dairy Queen cup in his yard, which he believed had been purposely placed there.

On Saturday, Jan. 5, Rietz said after hearing a horn honk outside his home, Fosdick and his wife got in their car and followed the vehicle to a park, confronting the 16-year-old male driver from Rantoul.

The teen was concerned enough about his safety, Rietz said, that he armed himself with a baseball bat that he had in his car. Rietz said the deputy's report said that the 16-year-old was familiar with Fosdick and his reaction to horn honking.

"Deputies were called out and defused the situation that evening," she said.

Then, on Tuesday, Jan. 8, about 4:30 p.m., Champaign police officers were called to North Prospect Avenue over Interstate 74 and found Fosdick standing on the sidewalk leaning against the railing.

"He was depressed and said he was planning on jumping," said Rietz, summarizing the police report. His wife was also present and police were able to talk him in to the squad car and took him to Carle Hospital in Urbana.

Rietz said sheriff's deputies were apparently unaware of the Jan. 8 incident on the overpass when they decided to issue Fosdick a notice to appear in court for allegedly threatening the teen on Jan. 5.

Rietz said Deputy Mike Wertz went to Fosdick's home Saturday to serve the notice when Fosdick responded that he was going to "take things into his own hands.

"He said he had just been released from the hospital that day, (and) because the situation was making him crazy, that he was going to get a gun and take care of things, saying: 'You know Columbine and Connecticut. I'm going to be that guy. I'm going to deal with it and then you guys are going to have to deal with me.'" Rietz said.

Rietz said Fosdick ordered Wertz to leave his property, which the deputy did after serving the notice.

"In response to that, the sheriff's office and St. Joseph school officials took steps to protect the school and students," she said,

The sheriff's office arrested Fosdick Monday afternoon on the warrant charging him with making a terrorist threat.

Rietz said Fosdick has prior convictions from Vermilion County for burglary and theft from 1996 and 1997, respectively.

He also has a pending aggravated fleeing and reckless driving case from Vermilion County.

In that case, Rietz said a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy saw what he believed was a suspicious vehicle about 3:30 a.m. on June 16 and tried to stop it on a county road west of Bismarck. The driver, later identified as Fosdick, refused to stop, leading deputies on a chase estimated to have reached up to 90 mph. It finally ended in St. Joseph. When Fosdick refused deputies' orders to get on the ground, he was shocked with a Taser, Rietz said.

Rietz said she has no formal reports about Fosdick's mental health and is going by statements he made to the deputies.

"Obviously, my concern is making sure his mental health issues are addressed." she said.

Jail overseer Capt. Allen Jones said Fosdick received the same mental health screening and evaluation that all incoming inmates do when he was booked in Monday.

"His condition is stable and he will be housed appropriately if unable to post bond," he said.

Assistant Public Defender Amanda Riess asked Judge Richard Klaus to lower Fosdick's bond, saying he has five children who rely on him for support. Four live with him. She also said he's been receiving mental health treatment and has a counselor at Carle.

Klaus declined to lower Fosdick's bond from the $750,000 set Monday and ordered that he have no contact with either the St. Joseph Grade School or the St. Joseph-Ogden High School or any of its students. He was told to be back in court Jan. 22 for a preliminary hearing.

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Uh huh wrote on January 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Kudos to the sheriff's department for their quick actions!  I hope this guy gets the help he needs before he hurts himself or someone else. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm
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"Obviously, my concern is making sure his mental health issues are addressed." Rietz said. [to her friend Mary Schenk, while knowing her comments were for the record in front of the public and wanting to look compassionate, yet firm]

But criminally charging him is an act of holding him accountable for illegal behavior not attributable to mental illness. Can't have it both ways- his illegal behavior is either caused by a mental illness, and therefore he needs to be involuntarily admitted to a mental institution,... or,.....he is not mentally ill and he needs to be prosecuted under the criminal statutes and subject to imprisonment in the Department of Corrections/or a community-based sentence. Which will it be?

I don't see where Ms. Rietz motioned to have a psychiatrist examine him for fitness to stand trial. Odd that Ms. Rietz believes mental health issues are best addressed in a jail cell.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Maybe you missed the part where he was just at the hospital and they let him go. The jails are our new mental hospitals. We just don't provide care. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm
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No, I think it's the State's Attorney who missed that part.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm

He made the suicide threats first, was hospitalised and released. Then he threatened the school when given a summons. What is Rietz missing other that he was on the street? All this is within a pattern of going after kids. Mental health isn't going to keep him in custody. I ask you again. What do you think Rietz is missing? She has to use the system she has. Not the system we wish we had. Maybe his case will get moved to the mental health court. Maybe he will be required to move away from the school so maybe he can be a little calmer. He rents the house so maybe someone will be willing to help him out. Who isn't prejudiced against "crazy" people. Maybe he served overseas and has ptsd. There could be any number of reasons for what's going on with him. Why not a medical exam?

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2013 at 2:01 am
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"What do you think Rietz is missing? She has to use the system she has. Not the system we wish we had."

What Rietz is missing is the integrity to honestly explain her actions. Criminally prosecuting him with a Class X felony (which carries a mandatory prison sentence of at least 6 years), and recommending an extraordinarily high bond to keep him in jail is not a way to show "obvious concern for his mental health issues." In fact, it's the opposite. Jail is no place to conduct mental health treatment, as you know.

If the State's Attorney's acts be justified, and it sounds like from the comments below by some who know the history of this man, (MysfytAngyl for instance,) that they just might be,....then let's not, as the State's Attorney does in her public appearance with Mary Schenk, pretend jailing someone is an attempt to address mental health issues. Jailing in our current system is severe punishment for deliberate acts done with intention to commit harm with a sound mind that understands the criminality of those actions. Period. Lately, Rietz and others have been conflating jail cells with mental health treatment. That is a fallacy and the State's Attorney knows it, or should know it.

If Rietz wants to commence a prosecution, fine, do so with the integrity to tell the public you are going after this guy because you believe him to be a willfully cogent menace. Why not a medical exam? Ask Rietz. She has the legal tools to initiate either an examination to see if he's unfit to stand trial, or involuntarily commit him to a mental institution.

And if Rietz really had integrity, maybe she would explain to the public what you know, rsp, and has been confessed by the cops lately; the reason this guy is getting harshly prosecuted in the criminal courts and kept in jail is because the system we wish we had no longer exists, and jails are being used in place of the state hospitals that are going, going, gone.

The real facts might be that Rietz doesn't believe this guy has any mental problems which is why she broke out the severest charges possible, or,....as usual, Julia is just showing off for the public again by looking tough during the Sandy Hook Crisis, while trying to pretend she is a compassionate Democrat at the same time. Hence, her disingenuous comment to Schenk.

rsp wrote on January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

Having a mental illness doesn't get him off the hook. Having a mental illness doesn't mean he isn't capable of making choices about his behavoir. Having a mental illness isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card. 

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

And, conversely, simply by indicting him on charges does not necessarily mean that those charges won't be dismissed. Perhaps they are simply determining the best course of action while he cannot be a danger to himself or others.

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm
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Rietz isn't treating this like he's got a mental illness. She's prosecuting him like he is very responsible for his actions. Therefore, her declaring she's prosecuting him because "I'm concerned about his mental health issues" is either a bald face lie, or, as St. Clarence notes: this initial prosecution is to hold him in jail because there is no room in the Inn at the mental hospital facilities, and therefore her "concern for mental health issues" a deceptive misdirection at best.

I suspect that the prosecution is for political "look-good" reasons during the Sandy Hook cause celeb of the day. Note the deputy is ordered off the property by the suspect after the comment. Why didn't the deputy arrest him right there and then after he made the comment? Or maybe, as I have said before, Rietz doesn't think he has a mental illness so she's going forward with a maximum prosecution. Carle Hospital didn't think he had a mental illness. The sheriff's office working with him for the months prior didn't think he had a mental illness. The chief operations captain said his initial evaluation during booking declared him "stable," and he will be placed in general population.

The critique here is we should not conflate mental health treatment with "so for your own good, you go to jail." That isn't mental health treatment. That's punishment for a crime. Unless,...as is probably the case in Illinois, there is no longer mental health treatment.

rsp wrote on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm

So you think it's either mental health treatment or jail. If he knows what he's doing and she puts him in jail it's just for show. Because he knows what he's doing. And he's doing it with intent. I hate to burst your bubble but just because the issue of mental illness has been brought up doesn't mean he doesn't know what he's doing. He's not in general population either. A psych eval at the hospital is looking to see if someone is a danger to themselves or others, an immediate danger. With plans and intent. Ideation doesn't count. Fantasies don't count. You need to learn more about mental illness. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 am
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No. My point is jail is not a mental hospital. Jail is not the place to treat mental illness, nor should mentally ill people be jailed for having a mental illness. In fact, most humans become mentally damaged having spent any extended time in a jail. Some cope better than others, some recover better than others afterwards. But jail is punishment. Not treatment.

Rietz suggested her prosecution was because it was her "obvious concern his mental illness issues get addressed." If that were the case, she should have motioned for an involuntary committment to a mental institution. She can't use criminal prosecutions and jailing to treat mental illnesses. What the State's Attorney has effectively done is given this family the evidence that this is a malicious prosecution, a prosecution done for other reasons than holding someone responsible for a crime.

I assume because he is being criminally prosecuted, and jailed; authorities actually believe he is responsible for his actions like you say and his actions were not caused by a mental illness.

 

rsp wrote on January 17, 2013 at 5:01 am

I think you misunderstood her. She has every intention of prosecuting him. That has nothing to do with the fact that she also happens to be concerned about his mental health. I don't know why you think that's malicious. The things aren't mutually exclusive. The types of behavior he was engaged in only escalate, it doesn't get better on it's own. The only way you stop it is with severe action. It appears his wife was involved in it with him. That only makes it worse. It's the same type of behavior as domestic violence. Except it was directed at a neighborhood. Would you justify domestic violence by a mental illness? Same pattern of behavior?

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 11:01 am
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So the prosecution is to stop the behavior, "severe action" in your words.  I say the prosecution and high bond to keep him in jail is to punish him for acts he has done that the State's Attorney believes Fosdick is entirely responsible for. Jailing him is not to treat his mental illness.

What I also think is the State's Attorney misunderstands what a jail, in its current form, is for. See EL YATIRI's second comment below for a description of the mental health services currently available to inmates in jail. Putting Fosdick in jail to treat his illness (if he has one) as the State's Attorney claims she is doing by prosecuting him is,... well,....psychotic. If her intention is to prosecute him and hold him responsible for his actions, then she is seeking he be placed in the Department of Corrections. Again, no place to get mentally well there. As I've already said, "If Rietz wants to commence a prosecution, fine, do so with the integrity to tell the public you are going after this guy because you believe him to be a willfully cogent menace." And if he also happens to be mentally disturbed while appreciating the criminality of his actions, the State's Attorney has the option of Guilty But Mentally Ill, still a sentence to prison. Any sentence to jail, however, is punishment for his actions. Not treatment. 

You seem to misunderstand that somehow an involuntary committment to a mental hospital is a justification and an excusing of criminal behavior. An involuntary committment to a mental hospital is also a "severe action" to stop behavior- even if the behavior is criminal. I believe Fosdick could have qualified for involuntary committment to an institution long before he made his comment to Deputy Wertz on Jan. 12. 

Had deputies/police and the prosecutors acted appropriately on Jan. 5 and/or on Jan. 8 with regard to a mental illness, the Department of Mental Health (if there is one) would be getting paid, and not the local criminal justice system. 

Here's a fun assignment. If Fosdick is the ticking time bomb as some on this thread seem to know he is, count how many felonies could have been charged for the incident on Jan. 5. Instead, deputies "defused the situation" by clearing the scene and telling everyone to have a nice day- no arrests made; leaving Fosdick on the street to "go all Sandy Hook." Three days later, police are talking Fosdick off the I-74 overpass. Carle Hospital turns him loose again to "be that guy." After Fosdick makes the comment to Wertz on Saturday (who is there not to arrest him, but hand him a piece of paper for a later appointment about a minor misdemeanor), it appears police don't get around to bringing him into custody until Monday, leaving Fosdick on the street to "be that guy" again for another 36 to 48 hours.

And apparently law enforcement had access to his Vermillion County records and the police reports from the incident in June of last summer where Fosdick went on a 90 mph high speed chase with deputies and deputies had to tase him to get on the ground. The last few months of "working with him" about what's going on in front of his house was ample opportunity to intervene then.

If Fosdick is the great terrorist threat to the school kids across the street (elgible for 6 to 30 years in the penetentiary for making a verbal comment), why anyone would congratulate law enforcement and Carle Hospital in this matter for their pattern of behavior is beyond me.

Quite possibly Rietz has exposed the county taxes to a civil lawsuit by admitting she is engaging in a malicious prosecution and may have violated the man's HIPAA rights with her desire to "look good in the press" during the Sandy Hook Crisis.

Had Fosdick actually done what he is alleged to have threatened to do, we definitely would be on the hook from the victims for how law enforcement and Carle Hospital contributed to making the event happened. They simply got lucky nothing happened if this conversation with Deputy Wertz is as serious as needing at least 6 to 30 years in the penetentiary.

whatithink wrote on January 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Kinda of funny that last night on the news it was reported that he has never had any "legal" issues or problems with the school before. 

They should make these crazies register just like sex offenders and keep them away from schools and children.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

These "crazies"? Real helpful. Maybe we should just go back and keep them in the attic, too. 

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 15, 2013 at 5:01 pm

The NRA leadership supports the "rights" of mentally unstable people to be armed to the teeth.

Woo. Hoo.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

It's not mentally unstable people, it's "crazies", Mark. And that's what the law should say! 

wilsona wrote on January 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Before I even finished this article, I thought to myself that surely there would be some extreme liberal at the bottom that would make some anti-gun statement about this.....Guess what?  There it is.  Sheep are so predictable....Use something like a clearly unadressed mental issue in order to scare people into allowing their Constitutional rights to be taken away.  There is a breakdown in availability of mental health care in our country.  That is a serious issue.  I know from my own experience trying to assist people I know in obtaining affordable mental health care that it's near impossible.  The only reason this guy will likely receive the mental health care that he needs at this point is because he's finally been charged with a crime serious enough that a judge may order mental health care for him.  Mothers often drown their own babies because of a lack of proper mental health care....That's not a gun issue and neither is this.  Wake up and stop allowing yourself to be brainwashed(Eric Holder's words, not mine) into believing that guns are the problem.  Quinn is closing two state mental health facilities in our state....That's a huge problem.  There is absolutely no link between gun control and lowered violence.  Look into the rates of violence and murder in the countries that have banned guns.  It's ugly.  Now see if you can do any research at all on any links between lack of available mental health care and violence.  That's also shocking.  Your heart, I believe, is in the right place, but your lack of credible research is misleading you.

rsp wrote on January 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

You should reread the story. He was getting mental health care. I suggest you research the NRA's policies regarding gun control and mental illness. In fact research how the NRA has affected every aspect of gun research and gun laws. The NRA is very concerned about the stigma of mental illness causing anyone to not be able to own a gun. In fact, the second amendment does not exclude the mentally ill or felons. So when will someone take up that challenge to those restrictions? Are the mentally ill less than? Do they have less rights? If so based on what? 

wilsona wrote on January 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Oh.  Forgive me if I failed to notice that he received 4 incredible days of mental health care.  Geez.  Get a clue and reread my comment without your agenda blocking your ability to reason.

rsp wrote on January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

He was getting ongoing care at Carle. Not just the four days inpatient. I typed slow for you. 

awilson wrote on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm

Starting f o u r days before this incident.  Was that slow enough for you?

rsp wrote on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm

 

Assistant Public Defender Amanda Riess asked Judge Richard Klaus to lower Fosdick's bond, saying he has five children who rely on him for support. Four live with him. She also said he's been receiving mental health treatment and has a counselor at Carle.

This doesn't imply it just started. It implies it has been ongoing. For him to be receiving it he has to have had time to actually had appointments. Unless he's rich the most he's seeing someone is once a week. So either his attorney lied to the court when all he had was an appointment or you are wrong. 

awilson wrote on January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Or it could mean that you're using the word "implies" and stating it as fact.  If I'm not mistaken, implying something doesn't make it fact.

Mysfyt Angyl wrote on January 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Unfortunately this man has never been stable.... He is a very unsettled person in many many ways.... and to be honest, I hope they keep him locked up for a very long time, for more reasons than there is space to leave a comment here.... He knows right from wrong but he has always thought he is above the law, I am guessing he will figure it out soon enough! KUDOS to the deputy that took him in....

mythoughts wrote on January 15, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I am so glad the Champaign County Police Department acted quickly on his comments. It is obvious that this is a situation that could have been much worse. I know many people in St. Joseph with children that attend SJO High School and have heard on multiple occasions in the past year about the unacceptable acts and threats from this guy toward young kids. My biggest question is WHY has he stayed living there???!! The article clearly states that he and his wife rent the house in the school's backyard. He isn't tied to a mortgage on that house, so if the kids and their annoying actions bother him so much, why not move? In several instances, it has been clear that this guy thrives on chasing down, threatening, and trying to scare these kids. Does he really have nothing better to do with his life than focus all of his attention and time on high school kids. I am not at all disputing that it would probably get really annoying having to deal with the school traffic and the noise from the high school kids, but again- he didn't have to stay living there. Seems to me that he almost liked living there to go after these kids. I think he liked the drama and the control he was trying to have over these kids. He may very well have some mental issues or PTSD. But, does it seem strange to anyone else that he was released from Carle just hours after "attempting" suicide? I am not familiar with the counseling department at Carle but it seems that they found him fit to return to his daily life, and now he has had another screening at the Couny jail where they have also found him mentally stable. I guess we will find out if he is deemed fit for trial. Makes me wonder if the "attempted suicide" was part of his cover up for knowing darn well that he intended to take matters into his own hands by "getting a gun and taking care of things." Maybe this man is just smart enough to know that he would get reduced sentence/lesser charges if he were mentally unstable. Seems to me that he has put quite a bit of thought into many of his threats to these kids over the past year. He has found out where they live, where they work, and what they drive... I am all for a mental evaluation but I hope that he doesn't fool the system.

On another note- his wife told authorities that he is not violent... how does she explain the domestic battery charges that SHE pressed against him in Vermillion County? I am awfully concerned about his wife too... On multiple occasions she has loaded her children into their minivan to drive her husband around town to stalk and threaten high school kids. What exactly are they trying to teach their children? God help this guy if his kids ever throw a Dairy Queen cup in someones yard or honk their horn while driving by. My guess is that his kids would grow up and do much worse based on the example being set by he and his wife. Sounds to me like the best thing for those children is for their father to be locked up.

wilsona wrote on January 15, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I'm not trying to condone his behavior at all, but I think it's very interesting that the 16 year old from rantoul says he knew anot this guy's desire to have kids stop honking around his home and was still honking anyway.  Sounds to me like there's a possibility that there's an unstable man living near a school and there's a possibility that the kids in the area find it amusing to add fuel to the fire.  We had a guy in our neighborhood when I was young that always yelled at kids for walking through his grass.  Of course, we all made a point to walk through his grass just to aggravate him.

rsp wrote on January 17, 2013 at 6:01 am

Kids don't always appreciate the situations they put themselves in. I think every neighborhood has a house like that. In a way it can help to teach kids to respect others' property. But it doesn't help when taken to this extreme. We had a neighbor who would yell at the kids for getting in his yard but our parents were worse. This guy had spent a lot of money on his yard. Our parents didn't want it to reflect on them if we were bad. 

L. Keith Hays wrote on January 16, 2013 at 8:01 am

A primary question posed by this arrest is whether the man had the tools available to him to carry out his threat.  Did he have possession of firearms?  Does he have a FOID card?  Has he flagged in a database as suffering from mental illness to prevent his lawful purchase of a military style semi-automatic weapon? 

I am grateful that law enforcement agencies took this situation seriously and moved to intervene before we read about a school massacre in our own neighborhood.  Wemay not be so lucky next time.

syzlack wrote on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am

Good questions.  Informants in St. Joe who would know say he is well-armed.  Don't know it that's true, but sure seems likely.

rsp wrote on January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

They checked his house and found no weapons. And they had him under surveillance so he didn't have the opportunity to move any. And it's against the law for people who have domestic violence convictions to possess guns so he wouldn't be able to get a foid card. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 am
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"I am so glad the Champaign County Police Department acted quickly on his comments."

"Kudos to the sheriff's department for their quick actions!"

If you study the timeline of events a bit more carefully, you'll see the police, the mental health system, and the court system dropped the ball horribly in this matter with some very slow and very negligent behaviors as his behaviors escalated. We just got lucky that in the 7 days it took for the deputy to serve Fosdick a notice to appear with the disorderly conduct charge and 4 days after Fosdick was acting out on suicidal behavior, Fosdick didn't already go over to St. Joseph High School and "be that guy."

Officials had numerous opportunities to intervene on this guy well before he made the alarming comments on Saturday, January 12. They could have arrested him for the disorderly conduct on Jan. 4 and had him evaluated then; could have involuntarily committed him on Jan. 8; could have had him evaluated in the prior months they were "working with" Fosnick to resolve his conflicts.

Instead, we have law enforcement and mental health officials "letting him off", "going easy," "disregarding his symptoms" (really Carle Hospital? a man who is standing on the overpass on I-74 declaring he wants to jump is released that day?) until the day the deputy serves a notice to appear (without knowing the guy was suicidal just 4 days prior. Such miscommunication seriously jeopardized officer safety.) And most incredible, the sherriff's office allows 36-48 hours go by before arresting him for the threatening comments. The speed with which they acted was near negligent.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 16, 2013 at 10:01 am

The mental health system in Illinois (and this country) makes me absolutely sick to my stomach. As with all social services, it's a few dedicated people doing their level best to hold everything together with scotch tape and baling wire.

EL YATIRI wrote on January 16, 2013 at 7:01 pm
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I agree that the mental health care is pathetic and that resources are woefully insufficient.  The few dedicated people aren't saints nor invulnerable to stress either.  Many of them have compassion fatigue and are complicit in the sham mental health care they deliver.  Personally I sought help when I was in deep trouble and I found the providers to be burnt out and lacking in compassion.  They just wanted to plug me into the psychiatrist for meds and did not individualize my care or take my wishes into account.  I really can't blame them too much except that they quietly go along with the status quo.  It would be encouraging to see more of them stand up and protest the unacceptable situation instead of just quietly doing their job the best they can.

Local Yocal wrote on January 16, 2013 at 8:01 pm
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"They just wanted to plug me into the psychiatrist for meds and did not individualize my care or take my wishes into account.  I really can't blame them too much except that they quietly go along with the status quo.  It would be encouraging to see more of them stand up and protest the unacceptable situation instead of just quietly doing their job the best they can."

Well said, and the "mental health treatment" available in jail as provided by the Champaign County law enforcement (untrained) guards and the one mental health nurse is even worse. Not that they don't care, or want to care, they simply have no time or resources to do much about the severity of behavior they see every day in multitudes. If you think your experience was inadequate, imagine a beleagured staff at the jail just wanting to go home at 5:00 p.m., having to deal with not only mentally ill people by the dozens at all hours of the day, talking and acting strange, possibly intoxicated on alcohol or drugs or damaged by past use of same; housed with equally dysfunctional, sometimes mean-spirited, angry strangers, and placed in the most unusual architecture you could imagine, stripped of their humanity and dressed in a suit to demark them as "bad guy"- with NOTHING to do; for most of the 24/7. Here's a pill. Your next court hearing is in a month. No, you can't call your lawyer. The public defender's office doesn't take collect calls at 10:00 p.m. at night. (or ever for that matter)

The State's Attorney describing such a situation as "mental health treatment" is near sadistic to both staff and inmate alike. Sherriff Walsh has actually cut mental health staff since 2003 to save money. Instead of 3 counselors, he's reduced it down to one whose training leans more to the medical side than the mental health side. Sadly, the three representatives of the mental health system, Mark Driscoll, a member of the Champaign County Mental Health Board, Benita Rollins-Gay, a counselor with Community Elements; and Sheila Ferguson, Executive Director of Community Elements quit the Social Justice Community Task Force to study the mental health needs of Champaign County without word. The hope was they would represent what this county could invest in to intervene on people before police throw up their arms and take the disturbed to jail because "there's no where else to take them." (This is the predominent trend nowadays, not a description of the specific situation regarding Mr. Fosdick) 

EL YATIRI wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 am
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I was treated to the jail "mental health care" when I was placed on "suicide precautions" as punishment for refusing to answer questions without an attorney present.  It was more like torture/retaliation.  I was stripped naked and even my glasses were taken away.  Even the thin cot mattress was taken away.  I had to sleep on the cement floor, lights were never out for my entire 3 day stay.  This "treatment" went on, the psychiatrist and nurse weren't phazed by it, as long as I refused to answer their questions.  I may as well have been Bedlam in the thirteenth century.  Needless to say my mental state deteriorated the longer I stayed.   The guards hate the mentally ill and refer to them as "dings".

 

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 am
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I'm sorry for your experience, and totally believe this is exactly what happened to you. I was attempting to be as generous as possible with the staff at the county jail, but I believe you know the situation at the jail better than most. Your experience is exactly why I find the State's Attorney's comment to Schenk that the placement of Fosdick in the jail is to treat his mental illness, a flat out farce. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 16, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Increase the tax on gun purchases, and ammo with the proceeds going to mental health services.

dane wrote on January 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm

 


The standard to have a person committed for a mental health issue is that they have to lack the capacity to understand or appreciate the consequences and nature their own actions. This is a very high standard. If I am depressed and say that I want to die and make a show of it by standing on a tall structure and pleading my case, then that is a ‘behavior’, because a) I stood on a tall structure because I know this is a place that can kill me, and, b) I understand and appreciate the consequences of these actions. Understanding what I want and knowing that a particular act will provide me with those consequences is not the level of mental illness required by the law to detain me. So, if I stand in the middle of the street and declare that I am invisible and the cars will drive through me, I might get detained. If I declare that I am depressed and want to die, and I stand in the street so a car will run over me and I will die, then I am not mentally ill to the point of being detained. I may have mental issues, but I am not an immediate danger to myself and others and unable to choose between what I know are criminal and non-criminal actions. If I say that I am sick and tired of those kids honking their horns, and in fact they are honking their horns, and I tell someone that I am going to kill them with a gun, because then they will be dead, I have demonstrated that I understand the actions that I want to take and their consequences. I’m still goofy, but I’m not going to get committed.

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 11:01 am
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I don't dispute your interpretation of the law, and you provide excellent excuses for mental health officials to do nothing and not involuntarily commit this guy months ago or on January 8. The same trier of facts could have been spun the other way to say he was a danger to others (the deputies did not arrest the 16 year old for threatening to use a baseball bat against Fosdick, and therefore considered the kid's acts as justifiable self-defense so Fosdick must have been way out of line to stalk the kid into the park.) and he was a danger to himself (standing near the 1-74 overpass railing and verbalized an intent to commit suicide; and earlier last summer, engaged in a high speed chase with deputies and had to be tased to comply with orders to get on the ground.) and therefore he could have been involuntarily committed well before the conversation with Deputy Wertz on Jan. 12.

Now, us taxpayers have to foot the bill for a Class X felony prosecution, a $50 dollar-a-day stay in the county jail, and possibly a $20,000 to $30,000 a-year stay in the penetentiary. Plus whatever financial assistance will be needed for the wife and kids left behind. Plus the welfare Fosdick will need after he gets out of the penetentiary. It would have been much cheaper, maybe more effective, if Fosdick had been sent to a hospital a while back before the confrontation with the deputy on Jan. 12.

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm
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By the way Dane, could you square your hypothetical: "If I declare that I am depressed and want to die, and I stand in the street so a car will run over me and I will die, then I am not mentally ill to the point of being detained." with the standards of a civil proceeding of an involuntary committment to a mental institution? If you have time that is,...

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

That would meet the standard for a civil detention. The original statement seems to conflate the standard for being able to be tried with the standard for detention. What Dane seems to be talking about is the standard for being able to be tried - which should be Rietz's standard here. That said, one can be able to be tried for a crime and still meet the civil commitment standard (and be mentally ill).

SJOmomma wrote on January 16, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I hope this man gets the max sentence. I am a mother

of a student they accused of the horn honking. It's one thing

to report it to the police and let them handle it. But to load up your

van with your wife and your KIDS is a bit rediculous at 11

at night. I have witnessed this couple on numerous occasions

standing in their driveway watching and taking pictures

of the kids cars while leaving the school parking lot. I don't see

this situation ending if he gets out of jail. This man obviously does what he wants

regarless of what the law says. Thankful to the Sheriffs Dept. for taking his statement

seriously. Very scary to think that something like this could happen in this community. 

 

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 22, 2013 at 6:01 am
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He loaded his family into a van at 11 at night a couple times, and he took a picture of one of your poor babies!  Sure, neither of those things are illegal, but they did creep you out, and that's what should really matter in court.  It's plenty enough of a reason to give him the "max sentence," to be sure!

In fact, anybody who has ever creeped out SJO momma on any past occasion should also be given the max sentence if accused of a crime.  Won't somebody please think about THE CHILDREN!?

droifus wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

zap!

woopitydo wrote on January 17, 2013 at 10:01 am

No doubt that this guy is a bit off but SJOMom I hope you also spoke to your child about being disrespectful and rude, kids will be kids but they dont have to be obnoxious. I know when I went to Urbana and was one of them a-hole kids throwing trash into the neighbors yards at Carle park the students were held accountable and now Carle Park is off limits. These kids (your's included) sound like they antagonized a situation knowing the rise they would get out of the guy. No one deserves the results from the reaction this guy had what-so-ever (meaning following through on his terroristic threats) but the community does not deserve to have their yards trashed or to be harrassed by your kids either.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 17, 2013 at 11:01 am

The guy threatened use his guns to do a Columbine/Connecticut style school massacre because high school kids honk their horns.

But you're right to focus your criticism on the kids.

woopitydo wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Did you not read my whole post? How dare you put that on someone. I did not in any way imply what he did was okay nor placed blame solely on the kids. So for once, don't put words or intention behind someone elses views. These kids antagonized a situation because they knew the rise they would get. Why can't the kids just NOT antagonize him? What that guy did is scary and he is paying the price for that now (and I hope he gets time and help for this) what is so wrong with trying to difuse or prevent a situation by telling your kids it is not okay to do these things?

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I know. Your right!!!!

If these kids just STOPPED ACTING LIKE NORMAL KIDS, then this guy wouldn't have had to threaten to massacre the school. Perfect reasoning.

And I fully support your right to chose to focus on the kids' actions in this situation.

wayward wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Um, I think most people would be angry about having trash repeatedly thrown in their yards, though they would generally not threaten violence at the school.

awilson wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

He didn't place the blame on the kids. You're being ridiculous. He simply stated the obvious....Parents should be parents and make sure their kids aren't rude and inconsiderate to people in this world. As a citizen of this country they should be taught to treat others with respect. You never know when you're going to run into someone that's mentally unstable in life and if you can't be a decent human being to others, it might not turn out well. There's nothing at all wrong with parents taking a little time to pull their kids off of video games long enough to have a talk with them about being respectful to others. I know I would never allow my children to treat others poorly...Including bullying at school. Unfortunately, this puts my kids at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with others who haven't been taught the same by their parents at home. My kids sometimes get bullied and are always forced to turn the other cheek rather than defend themselves. There have even been instances where I've decided to let the parents of these kids know their child was being rude and disrespectful and had the parent say, "Kids will be kids". What a ridiculous cop out to being a parent. This guy was mentally unstable. There are plenty of people out there like that and that's not going to change. That doesn't mean parents shouldn't parent in order to help keep their own children safe from those people.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 17, 2013 at 2:01 pm

You're right. Even though I criticized whoopity for focusing their criticism on the kids, you're totally totally right -- not to mention sooper dooper ethical -- to claim I said they were blaming the kids and then say that's wrong.

And HOW DARE YOU call me "ridiculous"!!!!!!!!11!

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 22, 2013 at 6:01 am
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Right on, Mark!  It is totally absurd to tell your kids not to throw trash onto people's lawns, and it is obviously ridiculous to ever tell your kids to be respectful towards others!  Like you said, being an inconsiderate jerk is just natural behavior for children, so to try and teach them respect and responsibility is just a foolish waste of time!

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 25, 2013 at 1:01 pm

And mischaracterizing others' posts is natural for people who have no argument so why complain when they do it, huh?

But you're right. Honking outside the high school -- what I was actually talking about -- is the worst behavior in this whole episode and should be what we focus our attention on.

And you're also right that ALL ADULTS TOTALLY TOTALLY DESERVE RESPECT -- even those who threaten to massacre the school in a Columbine/Connecticut style assault weapon murder spree.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm
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Well, Mark, you are an expert at mischaracterizing and distorting other people's words, so if you say that's what I am doing then I will take your word for it.

 

The behavior of the children was not as foolish and disturbing as Mr. Fosdick's reaction to it was, and despite your insistence otherwise, nobody in this thread has claimed that it was.

However, it does sound like they knew he was a ticking time bomb and that they deliberately sought to provoke him further.  No matter how you slice it, that was irresponsible and immature, and they certainly knew that it would only make the situation worse.

If one of those students had intentionally provoked him badly enough to actually carry out his threats, would I consider that particular student to be partially responsible for the casualties?  Yes, I would.

wayward wrote on January 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Mentally unstable guy versus obnoxious kids .... what could possibly go wrong?

Seriously, there was a case in Cook County last year where Nathaniel Beller threatened to kill his family in September.  Prosecutors declined to file charges, citing lack of evidence.  After he got out of the mental health facility, he killed his wife and kids by pouring gasoline on them and igniting them.  Needless to say, Alvarez's office got some bad press for that.  I'm guessing that Rietz isn't taking any chances.

awilson wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

deleted by author

danrice56 wrote on January 17, 2013 at 1:01 pm

"Having a mental illness doesn't mean he isn't capable of making choices about his behavoir."

 

 

Depending on how severe the mentall illness is, that is exactly what it means. What planet do you live on, where no matter how severe someone's mental illness is, no matter how severely their mind, where choices originate, is damaged, they are still capable of making the right ones, the same as someone with no illness?

Local Yocal wrote on January 18, 2013 at 5:01 am
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"Depending on how severe the mental illness is..."

...is the key phrase to note when understanding the planet of Illinois Law. Illinois law raises the standard very high to determine whether the person is unable to make right choices about their behavior. Under the law, the person has to be so incapacitated that they literally don't know their behavior is a criminal act or comprehend the harmful consequences their behavior causes. Commenter Dane explains it better than me above.

In this particular case with Fosdick, (assuming Schenk and Rietz have their facts of what happened with Deputy Wertz correct and Wertz is telling the truth.) Fosdick knew his idea of shooting children in a school to be a criminal act. The quote attributed to Fosdick doesn't qualify that he's so mentally ill he doesn't appreciate the criminality (or better said, "wrongness") of that kind of verbal threat. That doesn't mean he isn't mentally ill to some degree, but whatever his illness might be if he has one, doesn't prevent a criminal prosecution and a sentence to the penetentiary.

In fact, those who have studied prison and jail populations find most of the inmates to be suffering from one sort of mental disorder or another. Depression, addiction, PTSD, various emotional disorders are quite common and part and parcel of their criminal behavior and will likely be the case once incarcerated. In Illinois, we have decided that you don't go home because you were drunk when you initiated that fistfight, you were depressed and distraught when you killed your cheating wife, you're suffering from PTSD's when you attacked that arabic-looking person, you were sexually molested as a child before you raped that person, or you're addicted to drugs when you sold drugs, ect. Those circumstances can be mitigating factors at sentencing time.

That's not to say this criminal justice system is compassionate or actually strives to resolve a person's problems. It is a vicious punishing system that does not tolerate mental defects, addictions to chemicals, hunger, sob stories, economic disadvantages, past victimizations, accidents, self-defense, ect. unless the authorities decide to give breaks to whom they grant favor. It is in no way designed to treat mental illnesses. It is designed to break a person's mind down to be a compliant cow in a very small closet-size room, or else...violence will be inflicted. Many believe that is the way it ought to be. Afterall, they did break the law, so it is given for Schenk to write.

TheChiefLives wrote on January 17, 2013 at 3:01 pm

As a landlord/resident/father in St. Joseph, I can tell you that I would have this guy out of my rental house in a microsecond.  Pursuant to my clauses about criminal activities, neighbor/community complaints, or police complaints, this fella would have been evicted a LONG time ago.  Like the night he was forcibly removed from the School Board meeting.

If his landlord is around this area and is not taking any action on this, he should be ashamed.

I'm glad he has a documented history and that CCSO took this seriously.  Great job guys!

dane wrote on January 17, 2013 at 4:01 pm

 


“...could you square your hypothetical: "If I declare that I am depressed and want to die, and I stand in the street so a car will run over me and I will die, then I am not mentally ill to the point of being detained."


 


I’m depressed and I know it, and because of how I feel I want my life to be over. If I stand in the street I know I will get hit by a car and may (hopefully) die. I knowingly choose to stand in a place where I will get hurt in a manner that I know will kill me. Those are, according the standards, behaviors that I am able to choose. If I am able to choose dangerous behaviors based on their logical outcomes, then I am not unable to appreciate the danger of my choice. The abilty to make that rationalization is the difference between being detained and not being detained.

rsp wrote on January 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm

I'm a little curious about where you are getting your information. It doesn't square with the info I have. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 17, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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Yeah, Dane, you seem to be giving us the standards as to why a person wouldn't qualify for a Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity verdict in a criminal court of law, not the standards for detainment during a civil proceeding for an involuntary commitment to a mental institution. 

RN4Veterans wrote on January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

I totally agree with you TheChiefLives. He would be out in a flash of my rental place. The problem TheChiefLives is our laws here do not allow involuntary treatment for people with mental issues like he has. Bear in mind, I didn't like how it appears some of the high schoolers appear to be provoking is condition on purpose. They are playing a dangerous game of chicken, IMHO. Their parents should get them under control.  Yet we in society cannot afford to continue to allow these loose cannons to roam free amongst us until they harm or kill on of us or our loved ones.  Ridiculous that the laws were changed in the first place years ago. THESE need to be reformed....not gun control laws. While doing so, how about ensuring criminals actual serve their time for a crime and/or murder for a change also?

RN4Veterans wrote on January 18, 2013 at 8:01 am

Mark, you have written a lot of blatant lies with your spews of hate directed toward anybody who is conservative, but pat yourself on the back on this one. This one tops them all! "The NRA leadership supports the "rights" of mentally unstable people to be armed to the teeth"   You might want to examine who belongs to the NRA Mark.  We are barpartism....for one who might not know what that term means: let me explain. Members of the NRA do not care which party one belongs to, we only care about our 2nd Amendment rights. None of the B.S. and bogus "assault weapon" mirror and magic" lies this administration and LSM is feeding the uneducated public. You see, the NRA is made up of all party membership.
There is not, nor at anytime been any statement from the NRA saying they support the rights of mentally unstable people to be armed to the teeth, as you have stated Mark. Is it wishful thinking on your part?

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

The NRA is about as bipartisan as the Republican party.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 18, 2013 at 11:01 am

As I'm sure you are aware, the leadership and the membership have strongly divergent views on this and other gun safety issues.

The leadership are the ones who gave the bizarrely paranoid press conference a week after the Connecticut massacre.

They are the ones who made and stand by an ad attacking the president's daughters.

They are the ones who oppose any sensible safety measures.

They vehemently oppose preventing terrorists from buying assault weapons.

They vehemently oppose doing anything to tighten the gun show loopholes.

They oppose intituting background check in the more than 40% of gun sales that don't currently have them.

You can shriek as loud as you want that Obama is worse than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao all rolled into one.

You can go on a tea party rant about the "lame stream media" and how you and your fellow gun fetishists just need to "educate" the public.

You can call Obama a tyrant and call for impeachment like the rest of the GOP. You can trash more than 50% of your fellow Americans who want sensible gun safety measures.

But your attitude puts assault weapons and massive ammo mags and drum in the hands of unstable people who WILL massacre others.

Congratulations. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD.

RN4Veterans wrote on January 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm

"Bizarrely paranoid press conference", eh? What is bizzare is embracing a horrendous tragedy and show boating it for a political agenda Mark. But that is beyond bizzare in my eyes: that's sickening. I have not once seen the NRA make nor stand behind an ad that attacked any president's daughters. There has only been deference for them; which is much more than what can be said for say...umm...Gov. Palin's daughters by your lovely LSM?  Interesting that his daughters are being sent to a private school that is protected by eleven armed guards. Quite frankly, I'm glad they are, but I wish more children had the same protection across the nation as his own are given. All of our children are precious to us.
Try getting your facts straight or do you twist them just for the shock factor?

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 18, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Is the president also hypocritical for denying individual citizens nuclear weapons while he has the power to use them?

And yes, the NRA press conference was bizzare and paranoid. Of *course* it was. The automatic opposition to any sort of regulation has been a problem for a long time. This determination that everyone is having their weapons taken away is also stupid and wrong. Finally, this proposal to put armed guards inside every school that wants them is INSANE. Just crazy. Police officers with years of training and time on the shooting range rarely hit their target, and yet we think security guards with a short class should be okay with weapons around our children? They're more likely to hit bystanders than to hit the one person every so often who decides to go off in one school out of tens of thousands. No thank you.

mark taylor's ghost wrote on January 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm

So, you think the NRA press conference was not bizarre and paranoid.

You attack the "lame stream media."

You claim, falsely, that the NRA has not just released an ad attacking the president's daughters.

You attack the president because of the school his daughters attend.

You claim Palin and her family were unfairly targeting by the "lame stream media."

You claim there's "only been deference" for Obama's family.

You wish there were more guns in schools.

You claim that Obama, by reacting to the Connecticut massacre, is "embracing a horrendous tragedy and show boating it for a political agend."

You wonder why your tea party extremism isn't getting votes? Try looking at how out of the mainstream your ideas are.

Local Yocal wrote on January 19, 2013 at 8:01 am
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"Interesting that [The President's] daughters are being sent to a private school that is protected by eleven armed guards. Quite frankly, I'm glad they are, but I wish more children had the same protection across the nation as his own are given."

=

"I wish the federal government would spend more tax money to pay for all the law enforcement officers and security officers to protect the tens of thousands of elementary and high schools across the nation with full time salaries, benefits, weaponry, surveillance equipment and supplies. The Wall Street Bankers got their billions, why can't us cops and security guards get ours? The President isn't the only one exploiting this very rare, horrendous tragedy for a political agenda."

As a conservative, I wish you liberal tax and spenders would quit foisting the nanny government on our school districts. We have a deficit in the gazillions for crying out loud. We can't even afford to rebuild homes in the Northeast states! And you want to spend how many tax dollars to put an armed guard at EVERY single school in the nation?

What does this armed guard do all day while waiting, what? years for that once in a zillion moment when joe whacko comes for the armed show-down? You wouldn't answer that question by suggesting that the newly-hired guard, armed with lethal force, could spend his wait for a gunfight helping out with school discipline, would you? Sounds kinda' Uriah Fosdicky.

Maybe the heavily armed guard could hold the slow sign out in front of the school for student pedestrians? You liberals love growing the big government with idle bureaucrats, right?

Wait a minute! These mascacres also rarely happen at shopping malls, cineplexes, mosques, universities, army barracks, and gymnasiums too! Surely, shoppers, movie-goers, church members, soldiers and fitness fanatics are precious too! Geez, we are on quite a slippery slope here, aren't we? All these places, over the entire nation, in all 50 states need armed guards just in case joe whacko makes an appearance there too. Just like Obama to spend even more trillions on the Security Industry to say he created jobs! You liberals are some clever snakes with your gigantic taxing and spending, surveillance nanny systems, crony capitalism for the Security Industry, and union/pension/healthcare entitlements!

In short, you liberals just want a government hand-out after bribing your politician of choice. At least us Conservatives think we all should vote on it. That's what the Founding Fathers intended. (Indians, women, and negro slaves, you didn't hear that.) 

dane wrote on January 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

We could be at slightly crossed purposes on what we mean by 'detain'. My experience is more at the front end, as in walking the suicidal person into the ER, and not what happens to someone after they commit a crime and it becomes a criminal matter. The criminal matter becomes slower and more indepth

Local Yocal wrote on January 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm
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"The problem... is our laws here do not allow involuntary treatment for people with mental issues like he has."

"Ridiculous that the laws were changed in the first place years ago."

"We could be at slightly crossed purposes on what we mean by 'detain'. My experience is more at the front end, as in walking the suicidal person into the ER,...."

Are you, RN4Veterans and Dane, saying that Fosdick couldn't, according to law, be involuntary admitted to a mental institution when, "....on Tuesday, Jan. 8, about 4:30 p.m., Champaign police officers were called to North Prospect Avenue over Interstate 74 and found Fosdick standing on the sidewalk leaning against the railing.

'He was depressed and said he was planning on jumping,' said Rietz, summarizing the police report. His wife was also present and police were able to talk him in to the squad car and took him to Carle Hospital....", and during the four days while he was hospitalized and examined by psychiatric staff who would have had access to the information that:

"...for the past approximately one year he's had issues with students...," [and] '...has approached them either in the school parking lot or by following them in a threatening manner or getting out and yelling at them,' Rietz said."

In addition, Carle psychiatric staff would have had access to further information that Fosdick and his wife, "...got in their car and followed [a] vehicle to a park, confronting [a] 16-year-old male driver from Rantoul. The teen was concerned enough about his safety, Rietz said, that [the 16-year-old] armed himself with a baseball bat that he had in his car."

And during their four day examination of Mr. Fosdick, psychiatric officials would also have had access to the information that, "...a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy saw what he believed was a suspicious vehicle about 3:30 a.m. on June 16 and tried to stop it on a county road west of Bismarck. The driver, later identified as Fosdick, refused to stop, leading deputies on a chase estimated to have reached up to 90 mph. It finally ended in St. Joseph. When Fosdick refused deputies' orders to get on the ground, he was shocked with a Taser, Rietz said."

With all this information regarding Fosdick's behavior and judgment, are you saying Carle Hospital psychiatrists couldn't involuntary admit Fosdick to a mental health facility prior to the conversation with Deputy Mike Wertz because Illinois Law doesn't allow that?

dane wrote on January 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

That is exactly what I am saying, and is exactly what happened. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 am
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Said with such certainty. But then you did say your experience is walking suicidal persons into the ER. Impressive.

Well, I think we can agree, when it comes to maintaining job security during tough economic times, tight government budgets and all- especially in this state of Illinois and this county (did you see how that mean Mayor Gerard actually tried to lay off a front desk clerk at the CPD? The nerve of that guy.),... those that work in law enforcement would prefer the precious few tax dollars be invested in police, courts, lawyers, jails, guards and prisons- not into mental institutions, psychiatric staff, counselors, supervised residential housing, and social workers. Mentally ill people can be handled in a jail. Fosdick can take his pills in a prison, while were talking about things "exactly."

And certainly, the legal representatives of Carle Hospital appreciate your fine advocacy before the public.

 

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 19, 2013 at 9:01 pm

If money was invested in mental health, there would be less people going to jail.  I doubt that the Sheriff would agree with you about the mentally ill being housed in the county jail.  Mental illness is an illness just as heart disease is an illness.  Prevention, and treatment are needed for illnesses.  Unfortunately, mental health evaluations are not as common as heart evaluations.  If they were, we would not have seen the mass murders committed by gun violence this past year.

Local Yocal wrote on January 20, 2013 at 12:01 am
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"I doubt that the Sheriff would agree with you about the mentally ill being housed in the county jail." 

Your doubt is because you haven't been watching the county board meetings on tv or remembering Walsh's quotes in past News-Gazette articles over the years. Walsh is actually using the practice of taking the mentally ill to jail instead of hospitals to justify spending $22 million on a jail expansion. Walsh describes the situation as needing an ICU unit for both the medically and mentally impaired inmates.

The $22 million dollar jail expansion is being painted as a "humanitarian" endeavor to better accomodate the influx of the mentally ill because the state closed the mental institutions.

Walsh needs the mentally ill, so they can justify the architecture to support it. Isolation cells for "safety" reasons need more space. See EL YATIRI's comment above for what isolation cells do for the mentally ill in jail. This type of "treatment" at the jail is very low maintenance for the guards.

"Prevention, and treatment are needed for illnesses."

The problem with your dangerous idea there, Sid, is civil committments like the ones our man Fosdick could have qualified for on Jan. 8 involve institutionalizations for only up to 180 days in much more humane and less expensive conditions at the Department of Mental Health.

Now where is the tax money going following your idea? Not to the Security Industry. That's one less inmate the local courthouse, county jail, and Department of Corrections could have had for a much bigger slice of the tax pie (at $22,000-$30,000 a year) if we were sending these mentally ill people for prevention and treatment. Sure, your idea might involve personal responsibility, getting people back on their feet quickly, really solving the person's problems, but how are the big nanny government liberals going to make their money on a much more expensive government program like jail?

rsp wrote on January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm

The hospital wouldn't necessarily had access to all that information nor should they. They are supposed to make an independent assessment of his condition, not just sign off on what the police tell them. Read this report. It's a little long but it really explains how the law works and the changes over the last few years. 

http://www.iahanet.org/3rdplacefriederich.pdf

dane wrote on January 20, 2013 at 8:01 am

The sheriff does not take people to mental care facilities on his authority. The court orders them there.

Local Yocal wrote on January 20, 2013 at 11:01 am
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"The court orders them there."

Only if authorities honor the real law, not deny it exists or twist it around that ignorant people wouldn't notice when dealing with people we are actually having compassion for. But the authorities didn't want to show Fosdick any sympathy for his mental illness, so his suicidal thoughts on Jan. 8 wasn't honored, so neither was the law, (the civil commitment laws).

Authorities wanted to ruin his world by sticking him in jail on a $750,000 bond. Why?

But then you seem to deliberately twist stuff around to provoke my answers don't you Dane?

Local Yocal wrote on January 20, 2013 at 9:01 am
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Great work as usual, rsp.

Don't see how you reached the conclusions you reach, but then, the conclusions of experts like Dane and RN4Veterans and Madame State's Attorney are scary too. The more you look beyond this Supreme Court Rule 415 (c) violation [remember basketball player Jamar Smith, News-Gazette?]; the more this story makes no sense.

For example, we in the African American community can't imagine if one of our precious 16 year-olds ever brandished a baseball bat against an adult would ever result in no arrest of somebody. If self-defense was needed that badly to where officers felt no arrest was needed of the precious 16 year-old from Rantoul, why not arrest Mr. and Mrs. Fosdick on Jan. 5?

We do know that the quaint little bedroom town of St. Joseph, pop. 5000, is home to a large population of law enforcement personnel at all levels. We also know that the offspring of law enforcement are sometimes spoiled little brats who engage in criminal behavior. And I'm sure law enforcement personnel don't appreciate the Fosdick's taking pictures of what their teenagers are doing in their front yard. And so, the Fosdick's are getting terrorized everyday in front of their house to the point, Fosdick is beginning to become mentally unraveled.

Another theory might be that Fosdick was "profiled" like we are over here. Fosdick was reporting problems with the St. Joe teenagers before June 16. When he's found driving home at 3:30 a.m., officer runs his plates, sees or is told who it is over the radio, (that guy snitching on the precious kids of St. Joe), 90 mph chase is on. Fosdick steps out of car, boom, he's tased.

Don't know that, we never have the video tape or audio tape released to the public in these type of cases, unless the tapes show loudmouth activists like police videographer Martel Miller to be slightly incorrect on a fact or two to destroy Miller's credibility before the general public.

Whatever the case is, this is a pretty historic case. A man faces a Class X felony for what he allegedly said in the United States of America. Perfect timing too. The tragedy in Connecticut has us all believing that's okay and he's already guilty before he's had a trial.

Did Fosdick really say what Deputy Wertz claims he said, when some in St. Joe wish these photographing Fosdicks and their precious children would be homeless in the streets somewhere else?

Just ain't going to buy that a Class X felony charge, a $750,000 bond is out of concern for his mental health. They are trying to break this guy down for some reason.

Sid Saltfork wrote on January 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

Yeah..... there's always a conspiracy somewhere.  How would we get through the day without a conspiracy theory?

Local Yocal wrote on January 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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Sid, I appreciate you always wanting to stick to facts, insisting we don't let our paranoid imaginations set our policies. You are a sincere man, and I never mind your belittlements of me or disregards of what I sometimes present because I know your intent is decent. You have a healthy skeptism and it serves you well. But you simply don't know how this law enforcement community rolls in this town. Why would you? You are a kind, law abiding fellow whose days don't involve police cars and courtrooms. Few can hardly remember the 700-1000 crime articles that are pumped out every year on this forum.

You probably pay a healthy share of taxes too. Any thoughts you have that maybe Fosdick should have been taken to a mental hospital once admitted to Carle Hospital on Jan. 8 before Jan. 12 is criticism authorities have an interest you not entertain too long nor spread to other tax payers.

Most dangerous of all to the Security Industry is your own conclusion you wrote: "If more money went to treat mental illness, less people would go to the jail."

Remember, there's a $22 million dollar jail construction project at stake in the midst of this.Your conclusion above does not make you a very cooperative citizen toward paying taxes for a $22 million dollar jail instead.

Also, alot of security job positions could be created if us taxpayers agree to pay for armed guards at every school. Propaganda is utilized by governments too. Again, I ask you to compare Rietz' comments in the article about mental health treatment in jail (her reason for the Class X felony prosecution) versus EL YATIRI's actual experience in jail as a person suffering from some mental anguish beyond their control for proof that official spin does happen.

 

 

rsp wrote on January 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

I'm curious why you assume the kid brandished the bat at Fosdick. That's such a loaded term. Especially when he was chased by Fosdick. You like to embelish the actions of people to imply the intent you want, instead of what the facts show.

Of course he's come unravelled due to teens harrassing him! Nothing else could possibly be wrong with him. If only he had just moved away everything in his life would have been just peachy. There was probably a super secret meeting about how they could use him as an example for why we need a super deluxe new jail. I'm sure his attorney will argue that in court. Can you detect my sarcasm?

I have experience with the jail system, the mental health system, and the court system. One of the problems is people refusing to "work" the system. It takes effort, and time. Asking for help. Driving the car so someone can chase kids is not helping. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am
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"The teen was concerned enough about his safety, Rietz said, that he armed himself with a baseball bat that he had in his car. Rietz said the deputy's report said that the 16-year-old was familiar with Fosdick and his reaction to horn honking.

'Deputies were called out and defused the situation that evening,' she said."

rsp wrote on January 21, 2013 at 10:01 am

It doesn't say who called the police but by the time they were called a case could be made that they were mutual combatants and they both agreed not to press charges. 

Local Yocal wrote on January 21, 2013 at 11:01 am
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Dane, do you want to answer this one?  rsp, you are very, very smart. I don't understand why you would ask that.

Mutual combatants don't get to decide not to press charges, or press charges about anything. An arrest, and criminal charge is initiated only by police, and is taken into consideration as a criminal charge only by the prosecutor, and decided eventually by the court/judge/jury.

Citizens are at the mercy of cops, prosecutors, and judges who decide what happens after the citizens' alleged misbehavior. Unfortunately, your idea of community dialogue to resolve neighborhood conflicts isn't happening enough in certain areas of our community. Cops can do some discretionary social triage. I'm always hopeful they can. It's a much cheaper, more healthy way to resolve problems.

I doubt this Jan. 5 event would qualify the way Rietz describes it. Maybe there was no combat? We don't know. We weren't there.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 21, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Mutual combatants is a term that only applies to civil liability. Assault and battery are still crimes, regardless. Even so, a 16 year old could not be termed a mutual combatant with an adult even for the purposes of civil liability.

rsp wrote on January 21, 2013 at 7:01 pm

It doesn't apply just to civil liability, it also applies to criminal liability. Considering the kid knew there was an issue with noise in that area and put a bat in his car prior to making noise there, it makes you wonder if he's trying to attract attention. Then there's the "adult" who followed him into the park. If there were any blows Fosdick would have been arrested on the spot. I imagine it was yelling by the adult and the kid had the bat in his hand. But when such a strong case can be made that maybe the kid was harrassing him, and he was out of line by going after the kid, it's better to write the report and let the DA decide on the course of action. Which is what they did. Looking at the big picture I think they should have treated him as if this was a domestic violence case. The faster you shut it down and make it clear the behavior will not be tolerated the faster it ends for good. I suspect he thought nothing was going to happen and now he's confused and angry by the change.

SaintClarence27 wrote on January 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

But then that term is not actually used. The term mutual combatant is not a criminal issue. It is a crime to hit someone or threaten them, regardless if they are a willing participant.