Tuesday, April 24, 2018

California rampage shows gaps in mental health law

LOS ANGELES — Elliot Rodger's murderous rampage near Santa Barbara has tragically exposed the limitations of involuntary-commitment laws that allow authorities to temporarily confine people who are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Three weeks before he stabbed and shot six people to death and then apparently took his own life, the 22-year-old was questioned by sheriff's deputies outside his apartment and was able to convince them he was calm, courteous and no threat to anyone. Local health officials sent the officers after Rodger's family expressed concern about him.

Like many other states, California has a law intended to identify and confine dangerously unstable people before they can do harm. It allows authorities to hold people in a mental hospital for up to 72 hours for observation.

To trigger it, there must be evidence a person is suicidal, intent on hurting others or so "gravely disabled" as to be unable to care for himself.

In Rodger's case, it's not clear whether the law was too porous, if deputies were inadequately trained or if they simply weren't provided enough information to ferret out how deeply troubled Rodger had become.

Rodger had also been in therapy for years, and it's not known what, if anything, authorities knew about his psychiatric care.

Comments
He brandished a gun and demanded drugs, but he left empty handed twice, police say

He brandished a gun and demanded drugs, but he left empty handed twice, police say

TAMPA — Police are looking for a man who failed to rob two Tampa pharmacies last week.No one was harmed during the botched heists, but the man may be armed with a handgun, police said.In surveillance video released by detectives Tuesday, the suspect ...
Updated: 4 minutes ago
Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

Marriott CEO: Our three-hotel bet at Water Street Tampa reflects how Tampa is evolving

TAMPA — The world’s biggest hotel company already has 29 properties in the Tampa Bay area, but its CEO says a plan to put more than 1,400 rooms in three Marriott-branded hotels within a few blocks of each other says something about how Tampa is evolv...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
BSO deputies took cover during Parkland massacre, cops say — and one knew where shooter was

BSO deputies took cover during Parkland massacre, cops say — and one knew where shooter was

Broward Sheriff's Office deputies were taking cover behind cars and a tree as they responded to the worst school shooting in Florida history — even though one deputy said he knew where the shooter was, according to an officer report released Tu...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

DNA, new plea set man free 17 years after Tampa murder

TAMPA — Almost 17 years ago, Dwight DuBose was condemned to spend the rest of his life in prison for a murder he still maintains he didn’t commit.On Tuesday morning, he entered a guilty plea to the crime in exchange for the promise that he would go f...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Ex-Yahoo paying $35M to settle SEC charges over 2014 hack

Ex-Yahoo paying $35M to settle SEC charges over 2014 hack

WASHINGTON — The company formerly known as Yahoo is paying a $35 million fine to resolve federal regulators’ charges that the online pioneer deceived investors by failing to disclose one of the biggest data breaches in internet history. The Securiti...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Forecast: After tornado causes damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

Forecast: After tornado causes damage in Ruskin, clear conditions ahead for Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — Forecasters said rain could fall on Monday before conditions cleared, leaving drier air and less humidity behind.That rain moved through Ruskin with a vengeance Monday night, causing a tornado to touch down and producing a treacherou...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 25

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for April 25

Foo Fighters: The hard rock band led by Dave Grohl tours in support of the group’s new album Concrete and Gold, which debuted at No. 1. But expect some classic hits like Times Like These, Best of You, and Monkey Wrench. 8 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Uni...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Could Washington DT Vita Vea be the Bucs’ real target at No. 7 in the draft?

Vita VeaPosition: Defensive tackleSchool: WashingtonHeight/weight: 6-4, 347Draft projection: Round 1Why Vita Vea makes sense for the Bucs: Vea's combination of size and quick feet is rare. He ran a 5.1 40-yard dash and bench pressed 225 pounds 40 tim...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Anger spreads across Puerto Rico over lack of basic services

Puerto Rico's Senate has ordered government agencies to explain why tens of thousands of people in rural areas remain without power or appropriate shelter as anger grows about the lack of basic services more than seven months after Hurricane Maria
Updated: 1 hour ago
A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

A Sarasota girl nearly dies after accidentally ingesting pool water

It started off like a regular pool day at her grandparent’s home. Elianna Grace, 4, and other kids were having fun, blowing water out of pool noodles at each other.Then, as Elianna was blowing water out one end of the noodle, someone else accidentall...
Updated: 1 hour ago