Alachua County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Lieutenant Todd Kelly says an 18-year old stabbed his dad in the chest Tuesday night with a pocket knife. "The defendant in this case picked up that knife and started to look at it kind of play with it rubbed it across his own chest and made some statements about how 'I wonder how it would be to take someone's life' and then proceeded to approach his father and stab him in the chest."
The suspect is Bamboo Flute Blanchard. His brother talked with GTN News off camera outside the family's home. He says he and Blanchard are two of seventeen kids and he says his brother always displayed signs of mental illness.
He says Blanchard has been in and out of mental health facilities for some time, but because he's now an adult it's been hard to keep him there and on his medication.
Lieutenant Kelly says they noticed signs right away. "His only response was some grunting and looking away so obviously they're dealing with something psychological, some sort of mental impairment."
Lieutenant Kelly says the Sheriff's Office arrests someone with a mental illness everyday and says the department's deputies are trained to handle these situations. He says from here Blanchard should be able to continue treatment. "Through the court system they will refer him to some sort of program or some sort of counseling mandated by a judge that he attends, obviously that would be the best course of action to get him some kind of professional help."
The department has dealt with Blanchard in the past but for minor crimes. The family says their dad was taken to Shands last night but yesterday, he was released. They say he should be okay.
Reported by Laura Christmas firstname.lastname@example.org