Mother questions use of pepper ball in mental health call

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo woman wants local police to change the way it handles mental health crisis calls after her adult son was injured by pepper spray.

Stephanie Patel says police went to the group home where her 27-year-old son Tyler Patel lives on Oct. 2 after receiving a 911 call for medical assistance. Police say the situation involving the man escalated to the point where a pepper ball gun was used, striking him in the eye and blinding him.

The mother questions whether that use of force was necessary because police knew her son suffered from a mental illness.

KFGO reports police are reviewing the response. Lt. Chris Helmick says the pepper ball gun is a non-lethal option available to officers for the past two years.

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Information from: KFGO-AM, http://www.kfgo.com

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