HOUSTON, TX - Should guns be allowed in hospitals? That`s just one question being asked in conjunction with a lawsuit filed on behalf of Alan Pean.
Named in the lawsuit are a hospital, the City of Houston, a security company, and members of the Houston Police Department.
Last August, Pean drove himself to the St. Joseph Medical Center in the midst of a manic episode. After repeatedly leaving his hospital room, naked, unarmed, and confused, medical staff called security: two off-duty Houston police officers.
Attorney Joe Melugin says, “Eventually Alan was tased and shot by two officers who were there, and then they handcuffed him.”
Pean survived being shot in the chest, and was charged with aggravated assault and reckless driving. Those charges were dismissed months later, but he`s now on a mission.
“I hope to increase discussions about police brutality, gun violence, mental illness,” he says.
His story has gone nationwide. He`s even been on the Dr. Oz program alongside celebrities who have, themselves, struggled, like Montel Williams. “Mental illness affects every family,” says Williams.
St. Joseph`s is a vital resource for Houston`s homeless. Pean’s experience brought to light safety concerns and, for awhile, the trauma hospital was in danger of losing federal funding. That is no longer the case and St. Joe's doors remain open. As for Pean’s case, he's hoping to be the voice for many others. Some of whom are no longer here.