Doctors: Amtrak suspect had delusions
Saginaw — Documents show a Michigan man charged with stabbing four people aboard an Amtrak train had delusions at one time and spent time in jail for attacking a girlfriend, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
Michael D. Williams’ family also had petitioned a Saginaw court to get him mental health treatment when his behavior became erratic several years after his 2001 administrative discharge from the Army, the Saginaw News reported.
“Michael began saying people were following him, people were under the house and jumping out of windows, and no one else can see them,” Wanda Williams wrote of her nephew in the 2005 probate court petition.
She later wrote that police threatened to use a stun gun to force her nephew to come out from beneath the family’s Saginaw home. She said Williams also was “carrying a hammer and knives” in the home and digging in a crawlspace “to find people.”
Authorities say Williams stabbed and wounded a conductor and three fellow passengers Dec. 5 while their Chicago-to-Port Huron train was stopped in Niles, about 10 miles north of South Bend, Indiana. Police there used a stun gun to subdue Williams and to take him into custody.
Williams, 44, was charged with four counts of assault with intent to murder and was ordered to undergo a mental competency exam.
Two doctors who saw Williams after his family’s 2005 petition wrote at that time that he needed some type of treatment, according to the newspaper.
One wrote that Williams was having paranoid delusions due to cocaine use. The other doctor wrote that Williams had acute psychosis, acknowledged that he used cocaine and experienced hallucinations and delusions.
Williams’ case was referred to the Department of Veterans Affairs for it to provide him with substance abuse treatment.
Last March, Williams pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge pertaining to an altercation with his girlfriend the month before, and he was sentenced to 45 days in jail.
The Associated Press left a message Wednesday seeking comment from Williams’ attorney, Shannon Sible.
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