Nightmare neighbor's latest threat targets 8-week-old baby

KONA, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the last nine months, Ryan Garret has called the police on his neighbor dozens of times.

"We're nervous. We're on edge," said the south Kona man.

"At first it was yelling once a week. Then, it turned into yelling more often. Then, he tore down some of his blinds. Then it turned into him yelling a lot more and smashing out his windows."

Garret said his neighbor also threatened to kill his 8-week-old baby. He got the threat on video.

"You ain't got no f*****g  business putting him in that f*****g room," the neighbor can be heard saying in the video.

The case illustrates the difficulty in dealing with a mentally unstable neighbor.

Big Island authorities acknowledge Garret's neighbor has a mental illness. And witnesses say his violent tantrums can last for days.

But despite dozens of calls to police over the past nine months, there have been no charges and the man still hasn't received the treatment he needs.

Garret says it's gotten so bad he's afraid to leave his wife and baby home alone.

"When he was taken for an involuntary psychiatric evaluation yesterday the officers took him at about 10 a.m. and he was back at his home before 7 p.m.," Garret said. "He was only in the hospital eight hours."

Dr. Chad Koyanagi, a psychiatrist, says the majority of people police bring in for psychiatric evaluations due to disruptive behavior are intoxicated.

"It sounds like this family is frustrated and rightfully so," he said.

"It's highly possible that methamphetamine might be the primary driver for the inappropriate behaviors and the yelling and the hallucinations."

There is a shortage of psychiatric treatment beds in Hawaii's hospitals, especially on the outer islands.

And private facilities are costly and often have long waiting lists.

Despite the lack of resources, Koyanagi says violent behavior should always be reported to police and if possible documented on camera.

"I would also consider calling the hospital when they know he's going to head there to give staff more information about what actually happened," he said.

"I have a feeling the cops probably document what they see when they're there but they may not document what behaviors preceded their arrival."

Meanwhile, Garret has filed a restraining order and hopes his neighbor can get the help he needs before someone gets hurt.

"I know my family is not the only one in this situation and I'm hoping that one of the agencies who has responsibility for dealing with these types of issues will see this and help us understand what needs to happen to take action," he said.

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