Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

My Son's Assult

I want to thank you all for your comments and sharing your post. I had no idea how many families are out there dealing with their loved ones. you have all been so kind and thoughtful.
So here is my son’s story;
It has been almost one year to the day since my son’s arrest.
I’ve mention in previous post my son was in a terrible auto accident, he walked off the back of a pickup truck on the freeway and suffered a severe brain injury.
After many months of recovery my son was actually ready to go back to work, he insisted I go home to my life and he return to his. I want you all to understand that never in my wildest thoughts could no have imagined anything like this.
I returned home and came back for a visit 2 weeks later to visit my son, just to follow up and see how things were going. we headed up to my daughters home for the weekend. that’s when it all went south. We stopped on the way to play some golf and all was going well and then all of a sudden he snapped! he started talking and responding to what seemed like many conversations with multiple people. we were driving when this all happened. I sent a text out to my daughter saying something is wrong. this behavior continued through the weekend. We were all very concerned. again my son never was agressive or even raised his voice.
We called emergency services and talked with police about what we could do to help him. The answer was always the same. He is not violent, he has no previous record, there is nothing we can help you with. It was a holiday weekend. get him to see a psychologist as soon as you return home.
I had tried on many occasions to get my son to the appropriate doctors, as was the advice of the rehab center. We ran into several road blocks with services and even with the medical profession, no one would help us at the time because of the holidays. sorry we are not taking on any new clients, I heard that so many times, my son finally said he was done with all this and refused to look into anymore help.
My son and I returned home to his house a few days later. while he was unpacking the car I started dinner. in just a few minutes he had gone over to the neighbors assaulted him with a hammer and came back to the house and sat down to eat dinner.
The next day we did laundry, cooked a quiche together, went golfing…we were holding hands it was the best day ever, like nothing was ever wrong. He was picked up by the police later in the evening. it was the saddest moment ever. I was all alone (I had taken an airplane to visit) my daughter live 3 1/2 hours north. It was bad enough to suffer the accident, but now this horrific assault.
We still to this day do not know why. It has been over a year since we have seen our son. He is currently committed to a state hospital. we have received a lot of mercy on the part of the judicial system.
The gentlemen my son assulted was seriously injured. there are no words of comfort we can offer his family.


What a terrible tragedy for your family and your neighbors. I am so sorry your son, like so many people, was not able to receive medical treatment in time.

So traumatic for you, for your son, and your neighbor. My heart goes out to all involved.

Is your son in the hospital in California with a forensic commitment? If so, the conditional release program is supposed to be one of the best in the nation:

In time, perhaps you will be able to let the family of the gentleman your son assaulted know that you had done everything you could in your attempts to gain treatment for your son. Perhaps this would be cold comfort for them, but you did try as hard as you could to help your son.


Oh Annie, I’m so sorry. How horrible and sad for everyone involved, even your son. I wish I could offer you words of healing but I will pray for you and your family.

My son is currently hospitalized right now also and I just got home to a series of threatening phone calls. Totally delusional and false acquisitions and downright scary threats are on my phone right now. Two days ago, he was fine. He started getting angry last night about money.

My husband couldn’t even listen to them all and told me to stop listening as well. He is sick. I had to listen to every message.

I think your story is an important one because it shows us here how insanity can occur then everything be all right. How many times have we all said… “We just had a truly great day” and then all hell breaks loose.

God bless you and heal your heart and all of us who trying our best to deal with the mental illness in our lives.


Yes our son is currently committed through a forensic commitment. If he is ever to gain some understanding about the situation he will have to go to trial. for now he is safe and everyone one else too. It is not the future any parents sees for their child. The family is finally getting to a point of acceptance. we all correspond with him and phone calls are allowed. He does not talk much but we do have some contact. thank you for listening to my story


Annie, I am terribly, terribly sorry, why oh why can’t we get help for our loved ones? You have had to deal with the greatest fear of too many of us.

When will people realize that our family members’ needs are deliberately ignored and neglected by all of society and its society that is at risk?

People with brain diseases are considered by our country to be an “acceptable risk”. This is “a risk that is understood and tolerated usually because the cost or difficulty of implementing an effective countermeasure for the associated vulnerability exceeds the expectation of loss”. What this means is that until all of society demands it, we won’t get it.

and for @Mom2 - In the 5th edition of E Fuller Torrey’s “Surviving Schizophrenia” as @DianeR has pointed out, its now in its 6th edition, Dr Torrey writes, "A family within which the patient has been assaultive or violent is particularly poignant and lives in a special circle of hell. Its members are often afraid of the patient, yet at the same time they feel sorry for him/her and recognize that the behavior is a product of abnormal brain function. The ambivalence inevitably felt by the family members is formidable; fear and love, avoidance and attraction, rest uneasily side by side. Afterward, no matter how well the patient gets, no matter how much time elapses, the memory of the past assault or violence never full recedes.

God bless us all indeed.


I am so glad to hear you are able to be in contact with him. That is really important.


Wow, so sorry that happened to you and your son. It seems especially eerie because he didn’t mention the act to you afterward.
The neighbors were frequently the target of my husband’s delusions. He’s slashed their car tires with a steak knife (! ), and yelled at them from inside our apt or outside their houses. No assaults, to date.
Is the man pressing charges?


@AnnieNorCal I’m so sorry about this. Are you saying that your son doesn’t recall the incident?


I am not exactly sure if my son remembers or knows what happened, we had no idea how severly damaged his brain was from the accident. When he was arrested I was supposed to get a phone call from him, that never happened. The sheriff’s dept that detained him then said he was not allowed any visitors or calls. Our son was held in custody for 90 days. He was in a special division of jail. We continued to await any word about him. the only info we received was that he is stable and in no immediate danger. as we continued through the process of arraignment which he was unable to show up for or he refused. the process of forensic commitment took one year, at which we had no contact with him. we jus recently have been able to call and talk to him at the state hospital. he is nonresponsive, I believe that is the wording used. It’s very sad, we are in a very tough situation with him being incompetent, he is not able to sign any forms releasing information to his family. A power of attorney to gain custody is not an option for us, it is too risky. it’s very complicated. I would like to add that our son has received very good care from the state and all who have been involved. thank you all for your responses. grace and mercy


Your family’s situation is heartbreaking. I hope your son becomes well enough to speak to you.

There is no reason for you to gain custody since he is presumably in custody of the state and it sounds like they are doing a good job.


thank you all for your thoughts and kind words.
I had no idea until now, how many families are suffering through such hard situations. I have a great compassion for you all. many prayers to you all


I am so glad that your son is receiving good care from the state and all who have been involved.

Grace be with you AnnieNorCal

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@AnnieNorCal I’m just so sorry all of this happened. I hope you stay with this group. There is a lot of support here.

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AnnieNorCal, I’m glad you are here too! We feel your pain as well as only parents can.