BLANCHESTER —A local man was charged with criminal trespass Friday — the latest in a string of incidents that has Blanchester’s police chief questioning the state’s current mental health system.
At around 10 p.m. Thursday Blanchester police were called to the mobile home park at 800 E. Center St. where Billy Day, 39, of the park reported that his 9-year-old daughter was camping out with several friends in a nearby tent.
“A man went to the tent, starting slapping the sides of the tent and yelling at the girls, which frightened them greatly,” said Police Chief Scott Reinbolt. He said Day confronted the neighbor, who he identified as Fred McDaniel; an argument ensued and McDaniel went back to his mobile home.
Reinbolt said officers arrived and could not get McDaniel to come to the door of his home, and he was later seen leaving by a neighbor. Officers continued to search for him to no avail.
Late Friday morning officers found him at home, arrested him and charged him with criminal trespass, Reinbolt said.
“Just last month we charged McDaniel with aggravated menacing after he made threats of physical harm to the Clinton County Dog Warden,” said Reinbolt. “The police department has been called by mental health workers several times in the past year to check on McDaniel, who suffers mental illness and sometimes refuses to answer the door for mental health workers and to take his medication.”
Reinbolt said that on Thursday night Day told officers that McDaniel appears to be in need of some sort of mental health treatment, stating he is often seen talking to himself and heard making odd statements.
“It would appear to me that Mr. McDaniel would benefit from some sort of inpatient mental health treatment where his medications could be strictly monitored, where he could not seclude himself behind closed doors and where he would not be able to accost young girls camping in their own backyard,” said Reinbolt. “I realize that inpatient treatment is not the answer for every person suffering mental illness and is seen by some as inhumane. However, I fail to see the humanity in the current care Mr. McDaniel is receiving.
“It appears to me that inpatient treatment should be an alternative in these types of cases, an alternative that will not be a reality until our elected officials in Columbus make more beds available for inpatient mental health treatment.”