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Autistic Teen Charged After Attacking Family with Metal Pipe

BROOKSVILLE – Last night deputies responded to a residence at the 19000 block of Wildwood Drive, after reports of a domestic dispute that turned physically violent.

According to officials, in a fit of rage 18-year-old Michael David McCarthy picked up a metal pipe and began destroying items inside and outside the home; to include doors, a cable box and a Ford Crown Victoria.

During the rampage, McCarthy struck his father David McCarthy in the forehead, causing a laceration that required stitches.

Before deputies arrived on the scene, McCarthy threatened and swung the pipe at three of his cousins but they were not injured.

McCarthy’s father stated that his son was Autistic, but deputies determined during their investigation that McCarthy knew the difference between right and wrong and was subsequently charged.

McCarthy was booked into the Hernando County jail on charges of Aggravated Assault (4 counts), Aggravated Battery, and Criminal Mischief. He remains behind bars, held on $3,000 bond.

According to a recent article in Currentpsychiatry.com Most people who have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not commit violent crime. When violent crime occurs at the hands of a person with ASD, it is almost always precipitated by a comorbid psychiatric disorder, such as severe depression or psychosis. Treating a person with ASD who has committed a violent crime is multimodal, including forensic services when necessary.

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  • Michael thats very strong of you to say. i love you bud, so much no matter what! god bless!! 🙂 🙂

    Sunday, 10 July 2016, 12:11 am
  • My name is Michael McCarthy I so sorry about the things I did I wish I can turn back the clock

    Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 9:48 pm
  • michael has been doing pretty well and for all of you *********, you need to get lives, and not be so discriminatory towards people with mental illnesses

    Tuesday, 3 November 2015, 2:43 pm
  • Not saying he should be behind bars but you do know there are psych services in jail right? They will evaluate him in side there and get him gelp. If they don’t the family can petition the judge in the case to order them to and they will have to at that point since it’s a court order. Best of luck to this young man and I hope he gets the help he needs

    Saturday, 18 July 2015, 10:27 am
  • Tom Lemons, Looking at all the arrest reports here in Hernando, Some you can leave off of your site in the future, like this one. When it’s a very personal family problem with mental illness involved. And it being a small town with these nasty comments from complete idiots. I’m sure the family hates to read these comments over and over again. There must come a time for you to delete certain stories. ,

    Saturday, 18 July 2015, 1:24 am
    • Not Necessary- I agree the pain caused the family is difficult. If some of the comments can be put together to get good information out there it would be helpful. Autism awareness is growing, but you have nimrods like Michael Savage (and, though I would be considered conservative, I despise him) who deny autism exists. Malibu Mom is another of that sort. This also shows the lack of understanding of the Baker Act and the lack of resources for mentally ill and/or autistic individuals.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 10:08 am
  • This guy happens to be my older cousin. People are so judge mental. Do you all know what his life was like? No. So stop being pricks and bitches to my cousin. He didn’t mean any harm. People make mistakes no one is perfect. I know my cousin, and he feels horrible about what he did. If he could start the day over he would, he is a sweet guy. And funny, he wouldn’t mean to hurt you. Now everyone that is bashing on him can shut the f*** up.

    Friday, 17 July 2015, 12:01 am
  • While he does seem to need more behavioral intervention, a Baker Act is not the answer either. The Baker Acts in the county are a 3 day vacation and then its treat and street as usual. What needs to happen is the availability of mental health resources beyond discharge of which this county is SEVERELY lacking

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 9:47 pm
    • The Baker Act is meant to get someone through a crisis. Discharge planning should enable follow-up treatment. And it is up to 72 hours involuntarily- someone can be released from the Baker Act immediately after being seen by a psychiatrist or an ER doctor (if in the emergency room). It can go over 72 hours with a judge’s approval (after a second opinion by a different psychiatrist and a hearing with the judge).

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 10:04 am
  • Just because the KNOW the difference between right and wrong doesn’t mean people with different psych disorders can CONTROL the impulse. Big difference.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 5:02 pm
  • To the family of this young man, I am very sorry that you have to read such ignorant remarks…just remember these are coming from people that are clueless when it comes to mental health illnesses or disorders…actually these people most likely are just clueless in general. I pray that Michael will find the help that he needs, and that you as his family can find the support that you need. Have you contacted NAMI? It’s the National Alliance on Mental Health…they have support groups for families going through these kind of problems, including Autism. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or [email protected]. Best of Luck!

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 4:39 pm
    • Contacting the local NAMI chapter would be better… 352-684-0004. They have family groups that would be helpful.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 10:02 am
      • Weve been trying to get him in to NAMI. i live with him and my uncle and its not easy. Hes shy. He always says he doesnt wanna do it bc he doesnt wanna talk to people. His human interaction is getting worse. We are trying to do what wr can to get him in to the NAMI programs.

        Thursday, 16 February 2017, 7:47 pm
  • Malibu mom
    Well you need to shut up…why? Bc he does have autism…the cord was wrapped around his neck at birth and he lost an extremely high amount of oxygen to his brain causing him to have autism

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:32 pm
  • When I said “I don’t like that he is in a jail cell but maybe it’s what he needs” I did not mean he deserves to be in jail I was just trying to say that maybe him being in jail will help him out and he won’t put people in danger although I’m not entirely sure…also I agree he needs help…he deserves the help…

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:13 pm
  • My comment before meant no negativity towards my cousin…all of his medications failed him.. So it’s not entirely his fault

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:08 pm
  • I am one of Michaels cousins and the some of these comments are unesssicary…Michael has been put on different medications and he always stopped taking them and he’s had many “rages” before but this one was one of the worst…he put many people in danger and my uncle even had to get stitches…he knew right from wrong so really his mental illness was not 100% of the problem…i am a victim and ik what happened so what I’m going to say is just stop because you don’t know the whole story and some if these comments hurt me personally and my sister Asia I believe her too…now I don’t like that he’s in jail but maybe it’s what he needs…if you are not a professional on mental illnesses or a police officer or there to witness/one of the victims such as myself ect. I honestly don’t think you should be judging and commenting on this situation.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:03 pm
  • I just read through all the comments…Nobody here is saying this young man needs to be in jail. I do not agree with the way the system is. I wish your family the best.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:02 pm
  • I am Michaels sister. Michael has been put in several Psychiatric Facilities and each one has failed him! We have begged and pleaded to please help him before some one is killed or he kills himself! It is easy for someone who hasn’t been in Michaels life to stand on the outside and judge him for his actions! But let me tell you a little bit about him! Michael was born with the cord wrapped around his neck and had severe oxygen loss to his brain! As he got holder we knew there was something wrong! He has undergone several studies, all kinds of medications, counseling , institutions and all have failed him. When Michael has always had a love for money to the point that he was always trying to come up with new ideas to make it. When he was five he started going door to door selling balloons, as he got older it changed to candy and full size candy bars. Now he has a passion for making movies. He spends his time making YouTube videos. Michael is a very caring and loving person. Just days before this ancient took place he called me so excited because he had saved up money to go to Universal studios. He said I wish I could take you and the girls with me but maybe if I save up all my money from September to March I will have enough to take you! This young man needs help there is no doubt. But your negative opinions and comments are not helping any of us. If you put all your negative energy into being an advocate and help us have a voice to help him then maybe just maybe he can get the help he deserves. Our family is at a loss today and I hope you all have enough compassion in your hearts to stop judging and start helping! Thank you for your time!

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 1:59 pm
    • Asia, Brittany, Kristen, Bri, I feel for your family. Have you been in contact with CARD (http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu)? There is not enough help for Autistic people out there and here in Florida funding for help is very low. Michael, and others in similar situations, would benefit from autism-specific help- from groups, to training for work (when possible), to coping skills, etc.

      I am sorry your family has to deal with ignorant comments from people who think discipline is all autistic people need or needed when they were growing up. There is much more to it.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 10:00 am
  • These people are family @Asia @Brittany. Michael is my uncle. And we have been with him out whole lives until he moved away. These comments are hurting us because he’s blood. This attack isn’t completely his fault. How he is isn’t his fault. Before you guys judge learn the whole story. Because what he’s been through is horrible. When he sees this he’s going to so hurt. People are so rude. Yes he should’ve been put in a mental institution and not jail. So don’t be so quick to judge.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 1:47 pm
  • You wanna know what he is my uncle so honestly I know alot more about him then all of you do. He shouldnt be in a jail cell he should be in a mental institution to get the help he needs like asia said he has been misdiagnosed his whole life. So honestly you guys can shut up people make mistakes and this one isn’t exactly all his fault so I mean. You wanna talk crap know the whole story before you say something

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 1:40 pm
  • You can all stop being dicks to my cousin. He meant no harm. He made a mistake.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 1:31 pm
  • @Asia sorry to hear what your family is going through. You are in my prayers.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 12:55 pm
  • Wow, you guys are a real trip. Let’s reread that definition of the baker act, looking at the context clues and tense of
    “could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.”

    Unfortunately this case went beyond that point and a crime was committed. He did cause harm to someone. It will be up to the court to decide what happens.

    @tsmith, I a agree with every thing you said except where you assumed I am ignorant of this type of situation. I had a situation some years back where a family member busted me in the lip due to problems with a medication that was not working.I wasn’t worried about my lip I was worried about them hurting them self or someone else. I called to have them baker act’ed. The police told me that because a violent crime was committed they had to make an arrest. I had to bond them out, and then take them to The Harbor where they were baker acted. I then had to meet with the states autorney, explained the situation, told them if the state picked up the charges we would take it to trial. Charges were dropped.
    I know first hand how f’d up the legal system is for people with mental problems.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 12:24 pm
    • Danger Dave…thank you for your comment. I have worked many years with people that were Baker Acted, professionally and personally. Mental health is a very difficult, and fine line for law enforcement, many times they have to make split second decisions, and at times they are not always the best one. We can’t have a “knee jerk” response when it comes to a person with a mental health illness that gets violent. Unfortunately, many mental health disorders manifest itself through uncontrollable outbursts of anger or rage, and due to the nature of the illness the person can not control it…especially without psychological treatment, which includes medication management. Unfortunately, our emergency mental health services suck, for lack of a better word, and sadly the legal system pertaining to these type of cases is no better.

      Thursday, 16 July 2015, 4:23 pm
  • Malibu Mom
    You need to shut up. Michael couldnt be disciplined. He would hurt people. all of you guys dont know the situation with my cousin. And TBH its non of your bussiness. So Stop acting how your acting.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 12:22 pm
  • so tired of hearing/seeing bad behavior blamed on autism. It’s ridiculous how they Dr.’s have convinced so many people they have this disorder that didn’t even exist in my day. It’s a crock of bull if you ask me… Discipline your kids so they don’t turn out to be little ***** of society.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 11:36 am
    • You sound as ignorant as Michael Savage. Autism is something that does exist- I have worked with a good number of autistic individuals on an inpatient basis and in the community. It is not a matter of discipline, it is a matter of finding ways to help each according to his or her circumstance. I have seen some who are basically in a world of their own, barely acknowledging the outside, to others who are able to function very well with difficulties they can overcome.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 9:52 am
  • Julie B. I was present.

    I was one of the victims. You all should be thankful for your family and your family. That event taught my sisters and I a lesson. Love and respect your family, because they may do something bad that causes them not being able to see you beacuse of the order of protection.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 11:29 am
  • I am one of the cousins that was in the attack. TBH some of hese comments are hurting my feelings.
    Michael has been misdiagnosed his whole life. And it was scary the night that the event took place. That is all i am willing to say. The rest is non of your business.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 11:25 am
  • Danger Dave and Julie B must be cop lovers right???? Or they’re deputies sticking up for their co-workers…..not everyone needs jail….maybe if these so called professionals used common sense in situations like this one it wouldn’t be news…unfortunately you can’t teach common sense….low standards = low quality LEOs…

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 10:21 am
  • I agree with danger Dave, none of you are aware of the entire situation. We’re any of you present during this incident? Everyone is so ready to judge. Dave was making fun of gun control status and I got it as soon as I read it. Stop being so judgmental. That is the problem with this country. Jump on the bandwagon and judge all. Let he who has not sinned throw the first stone.
    Pussifcation of America!!!!!!!

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 7:50 am
    • Julie B…you and Danger Dave belong together…yes, ignorance is blind. Lol! BTW, you sound like a great American.

      Thursday, 16 July 2015, 4:04 pm
  • Danger Dave…your comments only continue to affirm your undeniable ignorance in this type of situation. So, I don’t know why you continue to comment? The Baker Act is based on the behavioral criteria that the person may be of harm to himself or others. A person with a mental health illness does NOT belong in a jail or prison. That’s whats wrong with our correctional system, it’s being used as a psych facility to house a huge population of people suffering with severe mental health disorders and addictions. No state correctional facility in Florida is providing the necessary treatment, or services, for this type of illness or disorder. Once these individuals have completed their sentence they are then released right back into society, now do they not only have their untreated mental health disorder, they also have become “institutionalized.” Meaning these individuals will now live and behave as they found necessary to survive within the prison setting and population, and we’re seeing the detrimental effects of this daily. I hope this young man gets the help that he needs…I guarantee that this will not, and can not happen while he’s incarcerated.

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 3:53 am
  • No Dave, see the attached definition of a Baker Act, as dictated by the courts:

    An involuntary Baker Act is when a person is taken to a receiving facility for involuntary examination when there is reason to believe that he or she is mentally ill and because of his or her mental illness, the person has refused voluntary examination; the person is unable to determine for himself or herself whether examination is necessary and without care or treatment, the person is likely to suffer from neglect or refuse to care for himself or herself and such refusal could pose a threat of harm to his or her well being; and there is a substantial likelihood that without care or treatment, the person will cause serious bodily harm to himself, herself or others in the near future as evidenced by recent behavior.
    Notice the statement “or others”

    Thursday, 16 July 2015, 2:58 am
    • It is not a treatment for autism… Unless it is determined there is a mental health issue causing the outburst the Baker Act is not appropriate. That is also in the statute. There are a good number of deputies who are C.I.T. trained- which gives them more understanding on how to recognize and appropriate work with people going through mental health crises. Hopefully at least one of them was on scene.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 9:47 am
  • Danger Dave – I think it was a funny comment. Call me sick, also.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 11:54 pm
  • @Boschamps are you a clinical psychologist? Calling hcsd down when you weren’t there and don’t have all the details is a bold statement. Keep in mind there was some pretty outrageous violence done and the situation required the perpetrator of that violence to be placed in to an environment that insures he can not hurt someone else. Baker Act isn’t an option because that is for people who are a danger to themselves.The jail will do a psychological evaluation and order medication if needed. The father as the victim(who knows more about the situation than anyone) will be able to work with the states autorney and not press charges if that is what he needs to do. Being autistic is not an excuse for going on a violent rampage.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 11:20 pm
  • May he find the help he needs and people that don’t know about this disorder keep your smart a** comments to yourself. Read before you make a a** out of yourself.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 10:19 pm
  • Wow HCSD now have deputies that are clinical psychologists…it’s wrong he’s in jail…more like an psych. facility would do him good…way to go….

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 10:03 pm
  • @hmmm, I definitely am not trying to be nasty to anyone. To be honest with you I am more than disgruntled with many of the things going on in our town and across our great country aND maybe sone bitterness is showing. My “pipe control” comment was directed more at the Obama administrations gun control stance. I will say this story is really pretty sad and I do hope this kid gets the help he needs which probably isn’t jail time, surly there is a better solution.
    Not to be “Nasty” but if my comments don’t amuse you that’s fine, I’ll keep my day job and put my plans to become a standup comedian on hold.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 9:13 pm
  • I agree with you Donna I happen to have a child with this disorder and unless people are familiar with this disorder they need to keep ignorant comments to themselves like the one above. Kids like this need help not jail.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 8:15 pm
  • Dave there was a time you were insightful,maybe, i’m all for freedom of speach but alot of your latest comments are unamusing, immature and down right nasty . I think you should take a step back and reevaluate your purpose.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 6:42 pm
  • We need to address the issue of stronger pipe control.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 6:05 pm
    • Thanks, I needed that laugh!

      Thursday, 16 July 2015, 1:32 pm
  • He needed help, not a jail cell. Needs to go to an inpatient treatment facility. Maybe they could have processed it as Baker Act instead..

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 4:10 pm
    • I agree. Jail is not going to help him. It’s sad all the way around.

      Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 6:12 pm
    • Baker Act is not the answer for everything. What is needed is something specifically for autistic individuals- real treatment that includes psychiatric help. Baker Act facilities are not well suited for treating autism.

      Saturday, 18 July 2015, 9:42 am
  • Sad, I hope he get’s the help that he needs.

    Wednesday, 15 July 2015, 3:50 pm

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