TAMPA (FOX 13) - The parents of a man accused of targeting a family on a bike ride are speaking out, saying the system failed their son.
“We want the world and everyone to know our son didn’t do this intentionally,” his father, Michael Morse, said.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan disagrees. “This is not someone who veered off the road and was distracted driving. This was purposely done.”
Morse’s parents say their son’s social media postings in the days leading up to the crash are evidence that he needed help.
“He had a mental health issue going on, our heart is hurting for this family,” his father said.
Morse was Baker Acted on June 12, just weeks before the accident. Police say he walked into of their buildings and began acting erratically. His parents say it was an attempt to get help.
“We talked to the facility, we told them not let himself talk his way out of this,” his mother, Khadeeja Morse, said. “He should’ve stayed there long enough to be stabilized.”
Records show Morse was released about a week later.
Due to HIPAA laws, Gracepoint Wellness wouldn’t confirm if Morse was treated at their facility. A spokeswoman did speak to FOX 13 in general about Baker Act process.
“At the point the individual no longer meets the legal level of the Baker Act, then a provider has no choice but to discharge that individual,” stated Susan Morgan.
Morse, charged with murder, remains in jail with no bond.