Mother Believes Mental Health, Addiction; Led to Officer Involved Shooting

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:48 PM EDT
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The subject of mental health has been at the forefront of discussion following a number of violent acts nationwide, including the recent officer involved shooting in Presque Isle. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard has the story.

“Jacob was 25, and he struggled with mental illness and addiction.”

Renee Duarte is the mother of Jacob Poitraw, who passed following an officer involved shooting in Presque Isle on June 5th.

“Outside of that he was a great person, he was kind hearted, loving, caring, always wanting to help anybody in need. There was a picture taken the day prior to Jacob dying, and he was smiling, you would have never known he was depressed, he was suicidal, you would have never suspected that he was going to die the next day.”

Duarte believes that a series of traumatic events ultimately lead to the events of June 5th.

“He lost his brother, TJ, a year and 3 days prior to Jacob’s death. Jacob was in the hospital when that happened and he wasn’t able to attend his brother’s funeral, and then 3 and a half months after his brother’s passing, his father passed away and he was incarcerated when his father passed away, so he had lost both his brother and his father 368 days prior to his death. So I believe that’s when he started having a hard time.”

Duarte went on to talk about Poitraw’s continued battle with mental illness.

“What not everybody knows is that Jacob struggled with suicide many, many times. And in just one years time he was on life support 4 different times, released from the hospital and sent back home. No long term treatment, but sent back home. I believe that, for one, when somebody is suicidal and they are in a hospital, you can’t send them back out onto the street and tell them “you need to follow up” because somebody with mental illness probably is not going to follow up. They need long term treatment, I had asked for that, I had begged for that. And I’m not blaming anybody, I think it’s just our system and it’s the way it is and we don’t have the help out there. I believe if he had a year in treatment and on right medications and ONE provider, not different doctors, not in the hospital and then sent home and seen another doctor and then seeing psychiatrists, different doctors all prescribing different medications.”

Duarte stated she could not discuss the incident due to the active investigation and public speculation may not be sharing factual information.

“Just don’t believe everything that’s out there, because there was more to Jacob than you know, a drug addict or a criminal, there’s a lot more to this than people are hearing, and not everything can be public because there is an investigation.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you are encouraged to contact the Maine Crisis Hotline at 888-568-1112.

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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