Doctors at Schneider Hospital are evaluating a man with a history of mental health issues who damaged approximately 30 cars outside Starfish Market on St. John, according to V.I. Police.
The Daily News is not reprinting the man’s name because he has a history of psychiatric symptoms and has not been arrested or charged with a crime.
The 23-year-old man was transported to the behavioral health unit at Schneider Hospital after being detained outside the market Wednesday, according to V.I. Police spokesman Glen Dratte.
Dratte issued a press release at 3 p.m. Wednesday in which he said the man had been arrested and charged with “multiple counts” of causing damage to a vehicle, delaying and obstructing, and disturbance of the peace.
However, at 5:20 p.m., Dratte issued a revised press release saying that police detained the man, but did not arrest or charge him with any crimes.
“Any arrest that will be made in this matter will be in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office of the Virgin Islands,” Dratte said in the revised email.
Acting Police Commissioner Jason Marsh said in a phone interview that an “emotionally disturbed individual known to St. John” was detained in connection with the incident.
Dratte said the man is a mental patient who had an “episode” during which he damaged approximately 30 vehicles with a metal object in Starfish Market’s parking lot.
A preliminary investigation confirmed that the man is an employee of the market who arrived to work an hour early on Wednesday and “started to act in an irrational manner,” according to Dratte.
The territory lacks adequate mental health treatment facilities and providers, and is in the midst of an ongoing public health crisis. Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed an executive order in March declaring a mental health emergency due to a shortage of psychiatric physicians and behavioral health providers.