A Pennsylvania transient man is facing various charges including the threat of using a weapon towards police officers. He has been charged with terroristic threats (presumably related to weapons charges), resisting arrest, institutional vandalism of an educational facility and disorderly conduct.
At one point the individual arrested allegedly picked up a guitar and ordered the police officers to shoot him. He also supposedly threatened to take the police officer’s pistol away from him.
Whether all that is alleged in this case is true will be a determination for the court to make. Unspoken in the reporting of this story was the individual’s mental state.
Just reading the synopsis of what has occurred seems to suggest that this man suffered from some sort of mental or emotional disorder. The man has no known address and is asked that police officers take his life.
Such a case does bring up a particular problem in our legal system and that is certain suspects do suffer from various mental ailments that likely contribute to some rather erratic behavior. In such instances, attorneys representing such clients do have the right to ask the courts to take into account their client’s mental state. Attorneys that do have experience in dealing with mentally ill clients can often get such individuals the help they need instead of seeing them locked up in jail.
It is too easy to judge an individual’s circumstances on their behavior alone without delving into what caused the individual to do what he did. Few of us truly understand the torture that some individuals go through due to emotional and mental disorders.
Source: The Sentinel, “Transient Man Threatened Pa. Officers During Arrest,” May 8, 2012