Vicky Armel took up for my son when the system wouldn't
Vicky Armel Took Up for My Son When the System Wouldn't
By Pete Earley (Washington Post, May 12, 2006)
Fairfax County Police Detective Vicky O. Armel, who was murdered Monday during a shooting rampage by a troubled teenager, had helped people with severe mental illnesses. I know because she helped my son.
Four years ago, I rushed my college-age son to a Fairfax Hospital emergency room only to be turned away. Although Mike was delusional and had been hospitalized twice before for treatment of bipolar disorder, a doctor said he was not sick enough -- yet. Mike thought pills were poison, and Virginia's restrictive commitment statutes prohibit doctors from treating a person with a mental illness against his will unless he poses an "imminent danger" to himself or others. I was told to bring my son back after he hurt himself or me. Forty-eight hours later, Mike broke into a stranger's house to take a bubble bath. The homeowners, who were away for the weekend, pressed charges, and Detective Armel was assigned to the case …
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