Local PD discusses PTSD in our community
A young woman was recently arrested in Castroville this October after getting into a verbal altercation that turned physical. The situation quickly escalated, resulting in two charges for assault of a public servant, as well charges for resisting arrest, and escape. The suspect reportedly slipped her handcuffs and kicked the door open on Hwy 90 as officers were transporting her toward Hondo.
Sadly, authorities later discovered the young woman was one of the many veterans in our country struggling with PTSD.
“She was at war,” said Castroville PD Lieutenant Brian Jackson.”She was at an event where she got into a vocal altercation that turned physical, and then she ended up spitting in an officer’s face and kicking him. After she was arrested and put into a Castroville PD unit, she started trying to kick out the windows. At that point she was moved into a different unit which has sidebars on the windows. While she was being transported to Medina County Jail, she slipped her handcuffs, kicking the door open. Once at the ER, the woman assaulted another deputy, kicking, spitting, and biting his hand.”
The intensity of this incident paints a picture of how a little incident can quickly spin out of control when PTSD is triggered by the fears, anxiety, flashbacks and trauma that so many of our soldiers have faced during wartime.
We hear about veterans struggling with PTSD in the National news often, but incidents like this one make us realize that this is not just a national issue–it’s an issue right here at home–in our community.
“We did not know it at the time, but this young lady was a Marine veteran who recently served overseas,” said Castroville PD Lieutenant Brian Jackson. “The first officer she assaulted is also a decorated veteran, and of course she didn’t know that either. Had we known she was struggling with PTSD we could have transported her to the VA Hospital, instead of just taking her to jail, but she didn’t tell us so we didn’t know.”
This issue hits close to home for Castroville PD’s Lieutenant Jackson, who is the proud father of two veterans himself.
“There are a lot of veterans around here, and we come across a case like this every couple of months. I’ve got two sons that are also Marine veterans who fought over there in the sandbox of Afghanistan, so it hits close to home for me.”
Though we’ve still got a long way to go in helping our veterans, Jackson notes that law enforcement does have more options when it comes to these kind of situations these days compared to the past.
“In regular hospitals and jails, most of us don’t have a clue what these veterans have been through,” Jackson said. “The VA Hospital is much better equipped to help veterans like these. Veterans suffering from PTSD need help, and I’m glad our country is stepping up to do something about it. We didn’t always have the option to take veterans to the VA instead of jail, but now we do. I would have much rather transported this young lady to the VA hospital than to the jail, but she didn’t tell us, so we didn’t know…. I remember long ago, when we got the call for a veteran who threw his couch out the window of his apartment, scaring his children and family….back then we didn’t have the option to transport him to the VA hospital, there was nothing there for them, but now that option is there.”