Reports: Brad Parscale Hospitalized After Threatening Suicide

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale was hospitalized in Florida Sunday evening after allegedly threatening to commit suicide, according to local reports. Parscale, 44, was demoted by the Trump campaign several months ago following the troubled Tulsa rally and Trump’s stagnant poll numbers.

Trump campaign officials Brad Parscale and Tim Murtaugh meet with reporters at the press pen before President Trump rally , Toledo, Ohio January 9, 2020 by Kristinn Taylor

Local 10 News report:

Former campaign manager for Donald Trump, Brad Parscale, who was replaced by the President less than four month until November’s vote was reportedly armed with a gun and threatening to harm himself at his Fort Lauderdale home on Sunday afternoon.

Fort Lauderdale Police said that the armed subject was transported to Broward Health Medical Center where he was placed under a Baker Act.

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…A statement from President Trump’s Campaign Communications Director, Tim Murtaugh, states: “Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him. We are ready to support him and his family in any way possible.”

The Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Karen Dietrich said the encounter at Brad Parscale’s home was brief.

“We went out and it was very short. We went and got him help.”

Dietrich said he didn’t threaten police and he went willingly under Florida’s Baker Act, which allows police to detain a person who is potentially a threat to himself or others. He was taken to a hospital, she said.

His wife contacted police, worried that he was suicidal and had firearms.

More from Tim Murtaugh: “Brad Parscale is a member of our family and we all love him,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh says, and blames “disgusting, personal attacks from Democrats and disgruntled RINOs” that “have gone too far.”

Excerpt from an explainer on Florida’s Baker Act by the Florida center for Recovery:

What is the Baker Act?
The Baker Act is an existing law that provides for temporary institutionalization of individuals who meet certain criteria. It can only be used by specific authorized persons, including judges, mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, and doctors. More importantly, the law is limited by the fact that those officials must have sound evidence suggesting that the individual might meet the Act’s definition for mental illness. In addition, he must pose a risk of harm to himself or others – or demonstrate self-neglect.

It should be noted that the statutory criteria require more than mere suspicion of mental illness or potential risk. The statute specifically calls for “substantial” evidence, which is much higher bar than simple suspicion. As a result, people cannot be involuntarily institutionalized simply because they’re acting strangely, refuse to seek psychiatric examinations, or have occasional mood swings or outbursts.

There must be ample evidence of possible mental illness, coupled with a strong potential for harm to self or others. Typically, that requires some sort of recent behavior that suggests a serious risk.

How Does the Baker Act Work?
When an individual is believed to meet the statutory criteria for involuntary institutionalization, he or she is taken into custody and delivered to a mental health facility for examination. The law applies equally to all persons in Florida, regardless of age. There are, however, some differences in the amount of time that adults and minors can be held. The facility can hold an adult for no more than 72 hours, during which an involuntary mental health examination will be performed. Minors can only be held for 12 hours before the examination is initiated.

If the patient is held for longer than 12 hours, the law requires that he or she be examined by a health care professional within the first 24 hours of institutionalization. That examination must include an assessment of the patient’s medical stability, and must determine whether there are other factors at play other than psychiatric problems.

Facilities are required to provide notice to patient guardians, attorneys or other representatives no later than 24 hours after admission, and must document all contact attempts. For minors, notification must be provided as soon as the child arrives at the facility – though that parent or guardian notification can be delayed by a full day if the facility suspects abuse and has contacted the appropriate central abuse hotline.