Rowen's autism support fund

Being the parent of a special needs child is challenging in so many ways. We thought we were doing a good job and had a handle on things... On Thursday, December 21st, at around 11pm, Rebecca and I were (finally) relaxing on the sofa, sipping a couple of beers and watching a Christmas movie. When the doorbell rang, we were so disarmed that we both thought it was in the movie. But when a very strong knock at the door followed, we realized something was up. I cracked open the door to find five regional police officers in full body armor with their sidearm snaps popped, ready to draw and shoot! The lead officer informed me immediately that they were here to take our son Rowen, who is twenty-one and diagnosed with several severely disabling mental conditions, into custody for felony assault, and may they come into our home? I stepped outside into the cold winter night in my jammies to try to understand what was going on...It appears that there was an altercation at school the previous day in which, they claimed, Rowen had attempted to gough a classroom aid's eyeball out. The officer stated that he had just taken the statement of this aid at the hospital. As a school employee, her allegations automatically elevated this to the felony level, and the police were obligated to follow through with an arrest. You might imagine our surprise as no incident report had been sent home describing this very serious alleged assault. In fact, both my wife and myself had been communicating with the teacher on a daily basis, by phone, text message and in person. I actually picked him up from school only minutes after this allegedly took place and the only thing they said was along the lines of "thank you and see you tomorrow, Rowen!" Over the course of a very challenging conversation we managed to convince the police officers that taking Rowen into police custody in this manner would almost certainly result in a serious altercation, due to the fact that he is severely claustrophobic, severely anxious, becomes aggressive and violent when confronted and lacks the mental facaulties of a competent adult. I was truely concerned that Rowen or myself would wind up shot by one or more of the FIVE arresting officers. They agreed that this would be a {fecal hurricane}, contacted the supervisor and decided to allow us to bring Rowen into court voultarily, in stead.  Thank God! It was a Christmas Miracle!!! Rowen got to stay with us and nobody got shot. Needless to say that pretty much ruins one's Christmas, regardless. We have been truly blessed with support from the school, police, our friends, family and neighbors. We wouldn't be able to handle this without you. Thank you all!!! While we feel confident that this was a misunderstanding and a vast exageration of the actual incident, we still are awaiting the final verdict. This has made us painfully aware of how precarious life is with severe mental illness in your life. We now know that we cannot risk more similar events in the future. The only defense someone like Rowen has is if he has been declared the legal ward of a legal guardian. This is a very expensive process which requires legal representation. The $400 per month the Social Security Administration deems adequate for him to live on does not allow this in our family budget. We are hoping that we can find support from the good people in our community to assist Rowen with this very urgent need. We thank you all again for your help and support!

Donations

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  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 32 mos
  • Todd Clewell 
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
  • Sandra Evenson  
    • $100 
    • 32 mos
  • Amy Allen 
    • $100 
    • 32 mos
  • Joan M Maruskin 
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
See all

Organizer

Christopher Franz 
Organizer
Dallastown, PA
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