Mom Says System Failed Son Charged In Thefts
Kerry Jo King of Jamestown feared the worst for her son. After he graduated from Jamestown High School at age 17, Brooklyn L. King was working a full-time job with benefits in maintenance at a local health care facility while living in an apartment.
His health took a turn for the worse in less than three years. It was not much later that he would be diagnosed with schizophrenia, a brain disorder that affects less that 1% of the U.S. population. The illness would ultimately cost him that job and change his life.
This week, Brooklyn King was finally receiving the help he needed. Unfortunately, it was in the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville after he was caught stealing gasoline from a town of Carroll residence and then leading police on a brief vehicle pursuit earlier this month.
“Now he’s getting the medication that he needs and the help that he needs,” she said. “The (official) there told me she sees it constantly.”
His mother, who is both upset and relieved regarding the incident, believes King is the victim of a failed system. “I was trying to get him help,” she said, “but he had to approve it and he didn’t believe there was anything wrong with him. … He thought everyone was against him because he was hallucinating.”
King, already jailed on an unrelated burglary incident, was charged by the Carroll Police Department following the Jan. 12 incident. In a news release, Carroll police said it received word of a man who was allegedly stealing gas from an Ivory Road residence. It was later learned the 21-year-old King had entered a barn behind the residence and was attempting to remove gas from a chainsaw to put into a gas can.
King was directed to put the can down, and at that point he ran,” Carroll police said. “King was able to get into his vehicle and flee the scene. King backed his vehicle into a pickup truck parked in the driveway, causing extensive damage.”
Officers and troopers with the New York State Police pursued the Jamestown man for several minutes before calling off the chase “for the safety of the public.”
King, known by the department, was picked up by the Jamestown Police Department on unrelated charges. In that incident, according to Jamestown police, King allegedly entered a property Jan. 13 on the north side of the city and took items.
“I tried constantly to get him help over the past year,” Kerry Jo King said. “Nobody would do anything for him because he was not compliant. Because he was of age, and he wasn’t hurting anyone, they wouldn’t help him. … Why do they have to hurt somebody first or hurt themselves first when they are already diagnosed with the problem.”
The 21-year-old was taken into custody following a brief pursuit.
For the town of Carroll incident, King is facing charges of third-degree burglary, petit larceny, fourth-degree criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and reckless driving. He is scheduled to appear in Carroll Town Court later.
For the Jamestown incident, King is facing charges of second-degree burglary, third-degree criminal trespass, petit larceny, second-degree obstructing governmental administration and third-degree attempted criminal mischief.
“It’s very sad because it’s the schizophrenia, a mental illness that they’re not helping people with,” she said. “Now he’s a felon and locked up in jail.”
His mother said her son was “well respected” before being diagnosed with the illness. “I want to redeem my son’s name,” she said.