Possible cause of standoff not uncommon; mental health help available
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- His father says stress snowballed into mental illness for the man charged with wounding a police officer and killing a police dog in Sellersburg Monday.
Joshua Priddy, 31, sat in jail Tuesday, awaiting a court hearing Wednesday morning.
Mental health counselors say cases like his are not uncommon and often with obvious warning signs. However, convincing someone to get help isn't always easy.
Howard Priddy talked candidly about his son, the man police arrested after the ten-hour standoff. He told WDRB News he believes his son has bi-polar disorder.
"I'm looking at a son that I've known forever, obviously. He had it all together, then it started going backwards."
Police said Joshua Priddy's wife called police for help in convincing him to seek treatment voluntarily for his mental illness.
The situation escalated to the standoff that left a police officer shot and wounded and a police K-9 shot dead.
"Just the continuous stress. He couldn't get the treatment he needed. But I was looking into his eyes and thinking this was getting awfully close to what was going to happen," Howard Priddy said.
At least two years of stresses -- losing his job as a Louisville firefighter, foreclosure on his home, and the death of his mother -- may have proven too much for Joshua Priddy to handle.
There are conflicting claims whether the fire department or his union could've helped.
They are circumstances familiar to mental health counselors.
"Sometimes people do things that do seem out of character, and maybe it is a cry for help. If you can recognize it, and get them the help they need, you're doing them a big favor also."
Counselor Misty Gilbert said that help's a phone call away, either to police or places like Jeffersonville's LifeSpring.
"You can go to any community health center and you can get a 72-hour hold on somebody. It's kind of a lengthy process. It can be done in a day. It gets the courts system involved. It gets the police involved as well, and then they're taken to a hospital," Gilbert said.
She encouraged people to watch for signs of depression.
"If they're withdrawing, if they're isolated. If they're acting different, out of character. If they're drinking, any type of warning signs somebody can pick up on... if you can intervene before it gets to a crisis situation, that's the best thing you can do," Gilbert said.
Joshua Priddy's charges include attempted murder of a police officer and causing the death of a police dog -- charges that come with no sympathy from the prosecutor's office.
"I do intend to prosecute that just as aggressively as the law allows me to do," said Clark County deputy prosecutor Jeremy Mull.
Need help? Reach LifeSpring in southern Indiana at 812-280-2080. In Louisville and north central Kentucky, call Seven Counties Services at 211 or 502-589-4313.
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