The family of the man accused of ransacking Westview Elementary School, causing $60,000 in damage, has shared a compelling letter regarding their son's mental illness.
Hamilton County deputies said they captured 22-year-old Aaron Roden at the school. They say he threw a computer printer at them and eventually had to be tazed. More charges are likely on the way. After being taken into custody deputies say Roden then vandalized his room at Erlanger hospital and attacked a guard on duty.
Roden's father, Michael Roden, is an Asst. U.S. Attorney in Nashville. Today he and Roden's mother, Laura Roden, shared a letter which describes a lifetime of problems with Aaron, and his apparent mental illness.CLICK HERE
to read that letter.
She says the family has struggled with their son's illness their entire life.
She writes, "An estimated 30 percent of the inmate population in this country suffer from mental health issues, but rather than treat them, our society has chosen to warehouse them for awhile and then put them back on the streets to repeat the cycle. The total inadequacy and callousness of the health insurance industry in regards to mental health treatment compounds the problem."
She said he was attending college in Chattanooga, and doing well until "a series of events over the last two weeks caused him to spiral downward again."
Michael Roden says Aaron is adopted.
"This is accurate, as it is true that we adopted Aaron when he was three-weeks old... however we are not trying to distance ourselves from him. He is our son. His being adopted has never been an issue. The only relevance it might have now is that we, unfortunately, do not know anything about the health history of his biological parents, and whether he has inherited his bi-polar or other conditions from them."
Roden is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear before General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes August 21.