By Melanie Yingst
March 11, 2014
For the second time this year, a man who suffers from signs of a dementia-like illness, wandered around his Concord Township neighborhood carrying a fire arm.
On Feb. 11, Miami County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 2000 block of Blackoak Drive, Troy, on a report of a man carrying a rifle and trying to gain entry into the reporting party’s home. The reporting party said the man appeared to be disoriented.
During the Feb. 11 incident, the man was confused and shivering due to the below freezing temperatures outside. The man claimed he was trying to get away from a group of people belonging to a religious cult however, there was no one around. Officers asked the man if he had a rifle with him and he replied he had put it in the garage.
The reporting party was unharmed and did not wish to pursue any charges. Deputies recovered a silver lever action rifle near the garage belonging to the man.
The man was later identified as James Means. Means also had officers report to his home on Jan. 20 when he believed his home was invaded by three subjects. Means had a loaded 9 mm gun at the time of placing the call in January. Officials arrived and did not find anyone in the home. His adult children were called and were advised by sheriff’s office officials to remove guns from the man’s home.
According to Miami County Sheriff’s Office Chief Dave Duchak, he found no reason to remove the weapons from the home since he was personally assured the man’s family would take responsibility. Duchak said certain criteria must be met before weapons can be seized by the sheriff’s office and in both cases, they were assured by family members they would take care of the situation.
Duchak said he advises family members to speak with their loved ones about safety issues, especially if the home has firearms. Duchak said in this case, when officials arrived at the scene, they had prior knowledge of the man’s condition which helped de-escalate the incident.
At the time of both incidents, the sheriff’s office requested the man’s children remove the guns from the home for the general public’s safety, as well as the man’s well-being.
Officials explained the incident which had occurred to the man’s daughter. The daughter agreed to take possession of and remove all of the firearms from the residence due to the circumstances of incident. The daughter stated she was going to take her father directly to the hospital to be evaluated.
In the prior incident, the man’s son responded to the scene and advised of the situation. Officials requested that he should consider keeping the guns for his father until his father’s condition improved, which he agreed.
In the previous report, the man had a gun cabinet with rifles, at least one revolver and one 9mm pistol, which was loaded and in a drawer in his kitchen.
Alert information was placed into the data system for future reference should there be additional calls similar in nature.