Ethan Freckles’ Possessions Removed From Columbus Avenue Sidewalk; He Explains His History and Intentions

Ethan “Freckles” Schneider. Photos by Bobby Panza.

By Bobby Panza and Carol Tannenhauser

Ethan Freckles, 29, is not your average person experiencing homelessness; in fact, he would debate whether he’s experiencing homelessness at all. He prefers to say he’s “home-free.”

He usually wears clean, athletic clothing and is well groomed, though sometimes shoeless; his long red hair and beard often look damp, as if he’s just taken a shower. He’s well spoken. He finished high school and a year of community college in South Carolina, where he grew up, the son of a physical therapist and the owner of a tree-care company. They were “very religious Christians,” and homeschooled Ethan to protect him from “harmful influences.”

After college, he ended up working as a promoter for a nightclub in Los Angeles, where he first began living outside.

“I couch surfed for like a month in L.A. and then I didn’t have a place, so I just slept outside a library,” he told WSR, in a recent interview. His real name is Ethan Schneider. “That was really scary,” he said. “The first night, I wasn’t sure if someone was going to come and try to steal my stuff. I had a nice MacBook and some clothes and things, and I didn’t know what it was going to be like. It was tough to sleep at all, but I knew that I needed to, so I hung out at the library for like the first week. I listened to audio books and didn’t eat very much, but then eventually people started to notice I was there and they were like, “Hey, there’s a food bank over there.” I was like, “I can get food?” And I was off to the races.”

Ethan’s stuff.

For the past few years, Ethan has lived on Columbus Avenue, between West 74th and West 77th Streets, usually under a sidewalk shed, in front of a vacant storefront. Lately, it’s been on the northeast corner of 74th and Columbus, in front of a former bank, and his “footprint” has grown increasingly larger, as his array of acquired goods has expanded.

“I’ve been working on learning how to live without the dollar,” he explained. “Living without currency is like an extension of me being radically self-reliant, because I figure the less I’m exchanging with others, the more I’m relying on myself or just whatever I can find. I think anything that’s in the trash is fair game. In an urban environment, that is where you hunt and gather; it’s fair game. I mean, because it’s just going to go to the landfill and go to waste and, you know, waste is, is, is awful, especially when it comes to food waste. And that’s when I, I got into, you know, looking in the trash at grocery stores and stuff like that. It’s like, it’s really unethical to waste food.”

As of last week, Ethan’s “finds” stretched out the length of half the city block. A quick inventory would include luggage, a sleeping bag, a plastic porta potty, some bicycles and a cart, composting bins, a camp trunk with “Ethan Freckles” stenciled on the side, numerous plastic egg crates filled with clothing, solar panels, and other unidentified objects, covered by tarps. Ethan could often be seen sweeping in front of his things, passing his time talking to passersby.

Not everyone appreciates his presence. Ethan has been the subject of many 311 calls and discussions at the NYPD’s 20th Precinct community meetings. “He’s taking advantage of the city,” a woman who lives on West 74th Street, between Columbus and Central Park West, told WSR. “It’s really an eyesore, and he’s obstructing the sidewalk.”

“I can’t just store my things in front of my building on the sidewalk,” a man from 83rd Street said.

“Some people want to talk to me, and they come to talk to me,” Ethan said. “If they don’t want to talk to me, they walk away. And in some rare circumstances, I tell people to walk away from me, but I realize that on a public sidewalk, really, no one has the authority to order anyone to walk anywhere. And that’s how that goes.”

Gone.

Until Friday, June 4th, at around 9 p.m., when police officers and Department of Sanitation workers arrived at 74th and Columbus, and proceeded to load all of Ethan’s things into a van. Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services sat in an unmarked grey Prius, and watched.

The weekend was a haze of confusion and uncertainty for Ethan — and WSR. Reporter Bobby Panza was working on a profile of Ethan, just before his world came crashing down.

That Friday night, Ethan slept where he usually does, same spot on Columbus Avenue. On Saturday morning, he texted Panza that the police had told him that his possessions had been “vouchered,” and he had three days to pick them up in midtown before they were moved to Queens.

“Just because some neighbors are complaining doesn’t mean they have the right to push me around and take my stuff,” he said, via text before signing off. “I’m okay, but pretty tired.”

Ethan was still there early Saturday afternoon when a woman approached him and asked what he was planning to do now that his stuff had been taken. He responded that he was going to midtown to pick up the vouchered items and bring them back. And that’s what he did. How he got them uptown is a mystery — as is what happened to them a second time, a few hours later, when they disappeared again.

Here is a segment of Panza’s interview with Ethan.

Bobby Panza · Ethan Freckles Interview With Bobby Panza (West Side Rag)
NEWS, OUTDOORS | 76 comments | permalink
    1. Matt + Hazel says:

      Good luck Ethan!

    2. Otis says:

      There’s nothing cute or endearing about this story. Why should families have to see this deadbeat living on our streets?

      • Sarah says:

        I understand the practical concerns people have about someone living on a sidewalk (though it doesn’t sound like he’s using, or attracting rats), but it’s absolutely contemptible to invoke “families” here as if small children’s eyeballs might burst into flames if they see a homeless person. Why should anyone have to look at YOUR face? How the UWS went from a poor neighborhood in the middle of last century to a nest of some of the most entitled people in the city…

        • Katherine says:

          This guy has literally all his garbage out on public streets and WE’RE the entitled ones?!

          • Ish Kabibble says:

            Garbage? Oh, you meant his belongings.
            Your compassion is overwhelming.

            • Susan says:

              What right does he have to have all his “belongings” spread out on the sidewalk 24/7? Can we all do that, or just special Mr. Freckles?

      • CjBerk says:

        Totally agree. Nothing endearing or heartwarming about a mentally ill young man living on the street with all his belongings. He needs help and I’m glad finally they have removed his stuff. Who are the fools who think because we have a place to live that we are “entitled”.

    3. Astrid says:

      Zero sympathy from me.

    4. Crankypants says:

      Long overdue! This young man needs psychological help and a job.

    5. w 71st Resident says:

      I know he’s very concerned about living a “zero waste life,” but cities are actually a lot more environmentally friendly than the suburbs– so if he’s looking to encourage people to be more environmentally sound, dense city denizens aren’t necessarily the best target. Additionally, density only works if people live *inside*. We can’t all live on the sidewalk. (In any case, sidewalks are not designed for outdoor living at all.)

      It seems like there is other stuff going on with Ethan and I wish him well. I hope he finds what he needs and is able to retrieve his things.

    6. upper west side girly says:

      It’s “unethical” for you to pile your crap on the sidewalk where people live and work. He’s obviously “home free” by choice.

    7. Lisa says:

      Dude thinks he’s sticking it to the Man.

    8. Carlos says:

      We live in a society with rules and laws. You can’t just permanently keep your stuff blocking a sidewalk. It amazes me how many people have no problem with this. What would happen if we all started doing this? I’m sure he can get a very cheap plot of land back in South Carolina.

      Any chance they can do the same thing to the person in front of Artie’s?

      Kudos to the police, sanitation and homeless services for handling this respectfully and responsibly.

    9. Debbie says:

      Good riddance!

    10. Michael B Davis says:

      this story points to a larger issue – what obligation does a civilization have to those members who do not wish to contribute to it? I submit that if a society promotes economic behavior that is destructive, then an individual has a right to not engage with it, and some accommodation with that individual must be made, as in providing a place to dwell, even if it may be under a bridge. Until that accommodation is made, he is justified in living in a box on a sidewalk.

      • Susan says:

        “and some accommodation with that individual must be made”

        …why? That is solely your opinion, not fact. Society has no obligation to provide for a healthy, able-bodied person who is simply too lazy or unwilling to work like the rest of us. We owe him nothing. Certainly not our clean streets for him to pile all his stuff on like he owns the place.

      • Ina says:

        To Michael who mentioned , society has an obligation to provide space for those who literally reject society. Why should anyone be obligated? Has Ethan invested into the society, has her been helpful in any way? He is a selfish person, who is only thinking about his own existence. I am fine with him doing it somewhere out in the woods, not in the middle of a city where he is actually taking advantage of society.

    11. Ish Kabibble says:

      The guy is not all there. For him to think that the sidewalk is where his “stuff” can be kept only further convinces one that he isn’t thinking clearly. He is a nice guy – there is no doubting that – but he needs to take the steps necessary to either be a contributing member of society, or to take advantage of the services provided for folks without a home. To act like he’s somehow been harmed by the city is ludicrous. Stop letting him game the system!

      • Denaliboy says:

        Right on. He needs mental health services, which it appears he rejects. Since we cannot force him to do much of anything, he just exists with all his crap on city streets.I have neither sympathy nor compassion for this person. His major contribution is making our lives more difficult storing his junk on the street.

        He is one of thousands infecting NYC. For those of us who commute to Los Angeles and that homeless nightmare, hard to be upbeat on the future of NYC

    12. Laura D. says:

      home-free is not necessarily hoarder-free
      : )

    13. Sheila Wolk says:

      I have great compassion for his journey of survival… BUT this should not be allowed with people on the street….There are certain parts of California that have thousands taking over the streets along with the rats as well…NO! Stop it in the beginning and find homes off the streets and sanity to get straightened out to find some work.

      • Jo Baldwin says:

        Remember, something must happen before government authorities take steps to properly handle the situation. Ours is a government of re-action, not action.

    14. Curious says:

      I’m shocked that he didn’t share his mission of zero waste and to get the UWS / Manhattan to live outside. Ethan has been in the spotlight of late, from controversial threads on the Nextdoor app, to this WSR story. He’s landed back in Strawberry Fields, hope he finds his way in life.

    15. WSRcaresmoreaboutvagrantsthanResidents says:

      So he communicates over text…but wants this off the grid dollar free life.

      How’s he paying for the cell phone?

      • Jad says:

        You can find him near the wireless station across the street charging and using his phone. You don’t need to pay a monthly fee to have access to messaging apps as long as it’s over the internet.

      • JJ says:

        A good question. How does he pay for things like cell service. I spoke to him that faithful night and there is one word to describe him – delusional. He thinks he is saving the world and protecting the neighborhood – but in short – he does not want to work, he does not want obligations, he does not want to contribute and yet he feels he has the right to store his stuff for months and months on our sidewalks – key word – OUR sidewalks. Not his.

    16. Bless His Heart says:

      “Representatives from the Department of Homeless Services sat in an unmarked grey Prius, and watched.”

      And watched? That’s it? Did they think about maybe possibly figuring out a way to get a psychological assessment and/or referral for this young man?

      The boy does not seem right. And living out on the street in Manhattan is neither safe, nor good for his health. Maybe contact his family?

      Also, who will start the GoFundMe page to get him a pedicure?

    17. UWS Dad says:

      @WSR: I’d love to see a profile of the guy who rides around in a beret blasting out Edith Piaf! He’s been doing that for as long as I’ve lived on UWS, which is 15+ years. It always makes me smile whenever I see him.

      • w 71st resident says:

        Yes! I would love that!

      • Chrigid says:

        yessss!

      • Grayson says:

        Me too! It’s like he’s my friend (that I’ve never met), that’s how I feel about him.

      • nyc musican says:

        Yes!

      • Amy says:

        Yes!! Me too!

      • That guy, please! says:

        OMGGG, same! I always thought I was the only one who noticed that guy/wondered about him…which I know is ridiculous.

      • Kara says:

        Yes, please! And he is easy to find.

      • Anna says:

        I’d like to see a profile on the Edith Piaf man too. It’s like having a time traveler from 1920s bohemian Paris passing by.

      • Sam says:

        I have spoken to him! We call him “Edith Piaf Guy.” I thanked him for turning my (then) young daughter onto Edith Piaf, and his response was, “It’s Josephine Baker!” We all love him. Though, I wonder if we would still love him if he were blaring some less nostalgic music.

      • Jennifer says:

        I LOVE the Edith Piaf guy!!! He also makes me smile. I am just waiting for him to show up in an indie movie about NYC…

    18. UWSConcerned says:

      It is good to see the City making some effort to try to clean up the neighborhood. Ethan’s ever increasing pile of stuff along Columbus was tolerated far longer than it should have been. Hopefully Ethan is able to avail himself of some of the services and support offered by the City and State.

    19. ann says:

      who pays for his phone?

    20. jean mensing says:

      I cannot believe the uptight righteousness of many comments. What’s happened to the Upper West Side. ?? Am I in Suburbia…not to malign the Suburbs but expectations are….or should be…different in a city of diversity. Live your life, Ethan.

      • lynn says:

        Ethan has several social media pages that include his friends and family (for those of you who think his family should be notified). Everyone who’s concerned should familiarize themselves with him outside of this forum. It might surprise you and even change your opinion, especially if you honestly believe he’s an innocent ‘victim’ of uptight righteous UWSers.

        • Abcedarian says:

          I have no doubts that he would be viewed differently even by those who thinks he’s charming if he was not a young white guy. Reporters would not be interviewing him as if he’s so different from so many others living on the streets.
          Everyone had a story and his is no more or less interesting or important than anyone else’s even if he goes by a cute name.

        • Mike Felber says:

          I have known Ethan for years & have some disturbing information re: behavior & even crime he justifies. But now does not want publicized. What are those social media sites-besides fb-that you want people to see?

          • lynn says:

            There’s also a Twitter account and 2 Instagram accounts under Ethan Freckles (one personal page and one Central Park Yogi page). There were quite a few complaints about his behavior toward women in the comments sections. I looked at them out of curiosity because I find it incredulous that so many homeless people have internet/social media accounts, when homeless kids are not able to get access to wifi to do school work.

    21. Truth and Reason says:

      What does he think this is? Portland, Oregon?

    22. Uwsguy says:

      “I’ve been working on learning how to live without the dollar,” — curious who pays your phone bill, and for the internet access you use to post your sanctimonious nonsense all over the web?

      Seriously folks. This is the fourth or fifth article in the past two weeks about this guy, giving him the publicity he both craves and does not deserve. Given the very real homelessness problem we have on the UWS, this is SUCH a waste of time and discourse on a guy **voluntarily** lives outside, dirties our streets, and then has the gall to tell us why we’re wrong.

      • B.B. says:

        Many homeless aren’t totally destitute per se.

        Good number receive disability payments (mental illness counts for SSDI). Then there’s veterans checks and other payments including pension. Then you have the not small sums that can be raised by panhandling.

        SSDI and other payments are why you see homeless in bank atm lobbies. Virtually all such benefits are paid via direct deposit, with bank accounts come atm cards.

        Subway system, many bank atm lobbies, those kiosks and elsewhere all have free WiFi access.

      • UWS17 says:

        Why is everyone so hung up on the guy having a phone? It’s extremely cheap to have a smartphone these days and free (besides the phone itself) if you just use public WiFi. I don’t know Ethan’s financial situation (nor do I care) but I think we can all agree that it’s perfectly plausible to be able to afford a phone with a cheap plan and not be able to afford a home in New York City. Also, Ethan has made very clearly that he’s homeless as a lifestyle choice, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’s not completely destitute. Shaming homeless people for having a phone isn’t going to solve the housing crisis.

    23. Upper Westside Resident says:

      Live and let live is the key here. Tolerance is a virtue that we all should be able and willing to adhere to. Keep on keeping on Ethan!

      • Raised in the 10024 says:

        Great, why don’t you tolerate him in your house? You and Mr. Freckles can hang out and watch Netflix and he can live and let live on your couch and go through your garbage for food and leave all of his boxes and crap at your place. After all, those are virtues you should be able and willing to adhere to.

        So, I’ll assume that if I don’t see Ethan off the street in the next few days, you haven’t decided to live up to your absolutely useless platitudes. It’s the UWS, we’re all socially liberal. We all want a government and social services that help people who have fallen on hard times. Services that help the mentally ill and people with disabilities need to be bolstered. We have people on the street who need profound amounts of help, and they deserve to get it. Whatever Ethan claims about his reason for being on the street, it’s an untenable situation. He’s a cute face (or nickname) on an epidemic of people who are stuck in horrendous situations.

        We need to change our priorities and fund solutions, not create street mascots whom the tolerance of makes us feel like we’re real iconoclasts and radicals, when it really just means that we’re too scared or indifferent to engage enough to get this guy some actual help.

    24. Paul Lanning says:

      This man is happy to be an obnoxious public nuisance, a lightning rod for UWS residents who no longer feel secure in their neighborhoods.

      • UWS17 says:

        His corner was an eyesore (I live on the block) and I’m glad it’s cleaned up, but it’s just false to say that he was a public safety threat in any way. I have issues with his decision to be there, but being homeless isn’t a crime and I never once saw him do anything that threatened anyone’s safety.

    25. Harriet says:

      In most areas I consider myself a social liberal. But, I’m at a total loss to understand when it became both legal and even acceptable to accumulate possessions on public property. What happened to “littering?” Remember when we got cited for dropping a candy wrapper on the ground. How can someone have the right to “live” on a piece of city-owned property without paying rent. This is totally beyond my grasp. If it were up to me, the sanitation dept would come through weekly and pick up anything left on sidewalks.

    26. Jay says:

      “Lately, it’s been on the southeast corner of 74th and Columbus, in front of a former bank, and his “footprint” has grown increasingly larger, as his array of acquired goods has expanded.”

      The southeast corner of West 74th and Columbus is Pioneer, the supermarket.

      The are some closed shops up Columbus on the east side, could be a bank in there.

    27. Nope Not Today says:

      I clicked, prepared to be annoyed, but found myself agreeing and pleased by his point of view on reducing waste and rescuing perfectly good things from the trash before they pointlessly sit in a landfill forever. He’s really right about that.

      HOWEVER, ahem, it’s pretty annoying when he invokes the idea of being “radically self-reliant.” Um, I’d say that idea applies more to subsistence farming than to visiting a food bank that is funded and stocked by the charity of others and probably should be reserved for those who truly have no other options. Schneider’s chosen lifestyle and sidewalk hoarding do not pass the Ann Landers “what if everyone did this” test. He is radically reliant…on everyone else in the neighborhood. Good for him living a recycling-first life, but he can’t inconvenience others and maintain a big junk collection on a public sidewalk.

      • Anthony says:

        Exactly right. His so-called self reliance is literally to be 100% reliant on others. What he means is to be able to live like he wants by faming the system and not working for it.

    28. Frustrated says:

      Stop giving this person attention. He does not deserve it. You can’t just choose to live on a sidewalk. Sorry. Enough attention on him.

    29. UwsNow says:

      And how about Karl who has been on UWS for years at the median of Broadway and West 79 street, shouting, smoking, drinking and harassing those who cross the street?

      Lately he has been walking on Amsterdam going north, shouting while he walks angrily asking for money, harassing people sitting at restaurants. He is very very angry these days. He needs to get help from mental health services before his anger is completely out of control.

      • lynn says:

        Karl was on 72nd and B’way today and people were literally scrambling to get away from him. I lost sight of him mid-block and thought he may have gone into Walgreens. I passed by again an hour later and there were police inside and outside of the store. I hope that everyone is safe but it seems that no one gets any assistance until something drastic happens.

    30. parklover says:

      I never understood why people like this don’t set up “camp” in Central Park. Wouldn’t you prefer soft grass to dirty cement under your feet? The scent of flowers and nature to vehicle and restaurant exhausts? There is likely greater foot traffic too for potential “donations”. Oh yeah, there are rules and regulations that are actually enforced to prevent them from doing that.

      • Emmett says says:

        After several wholly unsuccessful attempts to get help to a man and child sleeping under a scaffolding at 111th and Riverside Dr service road for two weeks, I rededicated myself to getting help for the mentally disturbed man who took up residence at the kiosk at 101st and Broadway earlier this week during the heat wave.

        The NYC Department of Homeless Services has an outreach program, and sends a team out within the hour of the call.HOME-STAT’s Street Outreach

        This clearly mentally ill man was interviewed within the hour of my call and he went with the outreach team.

        Precinct 24 did not help although I spoke to them at length.
        Mark Levine and Danny O”Donnell offices only take voice mail messages.
        And 311 operator claimed they disbanded their Outreach Team until I found the NYC website and insisted I speak to the OUTREACH TEAM.
        Use this information for the next person who needs support on the street

        • Frustrated says:

          The NYPD can’t help because A: that function was taken away with their defunding and B: it’s the law right now that anyone can stay on the street, even if mentally ill. The NYPD is not allowed to move them. That’s why we need Kendra’s Law to get people help when they are incapable of knowing they need help. We also need laws to get people to accept help for housing if they were not allowed to stay on the street. It only helps them. Letting someone lay on a street corner for months is not my idea of being compassionate, especially if they are having mental issues. Better laws would change that. The NYPD can only do what they are legally allowed to do.

          • Jay says:

            @Frustrated:

            “The NYPD can’t help because A: that function was taken away with their defunding and…”

            What defunding was that?

        • Lisa says:

          Thank you Emmett. You are an inspiration. Please keep sharing what you’re doing to help and how you’re going about it. And can you re-post the phone number you called to reach the Outreach Team? It wasn’t clear.

    31. Nevin Nuperman says:

      Visual pollution is what he brings to the environment. How the hell does he pay for the cel phone?

    32. jenny says:

      A poster was wishing the same thing would happen to the gentelman at Chipotle on 83rd and Broadway and it did. He is a really nice man, I hope he gets all of his books back. He had some decent ones. It is legal to sell books on the street because of the first amendment, but I guess because of the rain some of his items were getting mildew, etc. In an ideal world, this man would be able to afford a small book shop and a home….Sigh…

      • Huh says:

        It’s legal to sell books without the usual street vendor permits. It’s not legal to takeover streets, create encampments and other clutter,leave items on the street overnight etc.
        It diminishes our constitutional rights when people invoke them to cover other kinds of behavior. Not everything a person does is legally protected.

    33. Anonymous Jaded says:

      I do not understand why so many people insist upon romanticizing homelessness. What are these notions of living “without the dollar”, of being “radically self-reliant”, of dropping out of society and of being free and liberated, when Ethan “Ethan Freckles” SCHNEIDER is not self-reliant, not self-sufficient and dependent both upon charitable assistance, government assistance, public assistance and/or social assistance, and upon the waste of society, the excess of society and the “good will” of society. Ethan Freckles, himself, states that Ethan Freckles has chosen to be “home free”. Ethan Freckles is clearly able bodied, appears to be of sound mind and is not without resource, and, yet, Ethan Freckles has deliberately chosen to minimize Ethan Freckles’ contribution to society and admits to extracting, as much as Ethan Freckles can extract, from society.

    34. B.B. says:

      AMNY has an article about growing homeless in subway problem.

      Take away point is right here:

      “In accordance with NYS Mental Hygiene Law, a person cannot be forced to accept DSS-DHS services, in fact, unsheltered homeless New Yorkers can’t be involuntarily removed from the streets unless they are posing a danger to themselves or others.”

      https://www.amny.com/coronavirus/the-crisis-below-new-york-homelessness-subway-system/

      This applies across the board.

      • Emmett says:

        With respect to the constant refrain that homeless must agree to accept help, and if they don’t they can not be removed from the street, make it clear to the 311 Outreach team that the homeless person appears to be mentally ill, and that you want them professionally evaluated in a hospital emergency room as mentally capable of refusing help.

        No one sleeping on the street in a sleeping bag and winter clothes during a 100 degree plus heat wave, covered with lice bites, and urinating and defecating in public on the street, should be allowed to refuse help unless a trained professional has said they are legally competent to do so.

        For an even handed discussion of the failure of the mental health and policing policy here in the US read Bedlam by Kenneth Paul Rosenburg, MD.

        The individual who was removed from 101st and Broadway has not returned, and I certainly hope it is because he is receiving treatment for his mental illness and other obvious health issues.

        • B.B. says:

          You can make it “clear” to 311 outreach team or whoever that *you* want said homeless person to be hauled in for a mental evaluation. What will happen once NYPD and others arrive is another matter.

          Once again as have said repeatedly in these sort of thread, mentally ill have same rights as you or myself.

          No LE, agency of municipal government, hospital, healthcare facility, physician or even judge is going to get themselves involved in anything that smacks of taking and holding someone against their will absent strong clear reasons they need to act for safety of public or person in question. To do otherwise will expose any of above to legal action.

    35. Lilly H. says:

      Enough with this guy already. Put your shoes on and get your crap out of the way. Get a job. Stop acting like you’re some free-spirited anarchist when you’re living off of stuff produced by mass production and the hard work of others. Give me a break. Stop giving this guy press.

    36. B.B. says:

      To be clear here is NYS mental health law on this matter:

      N.Y. MENTAL HYG. LAW
      § 9.39(a)

      “[A]ny person alleged to have a mental illness for which immediate observation, care, and treatment in a hospital is appropriate and which is likely to result in serious harm to himself or others.

      “Likelihood to result in serious harm” as used in this article shall mean:
      substantial risk of physical harm to himself as manifested by threats of or attempts at suicide or serious bodily harm or other conduct demonstrating that he is dangerous to himself, or

      a substantial risk of physical harm to other persons as manifested by homicidal or other violent behavior by which others are placed in reasonable fear of serious physical harm.”

      All fifty states have some sort of similar laws that spell out just when and how someone can be hauled in and held against their will for suspected mental illness.

      Out reach workers, LE, doctors, hospital staff, any and everyone involved in such a situation must make careful notes including their evaluation of situation. These records will be needed if so called “mentally ill” person or their family/supporters decide to sue or otherwise legally challenge any action taken.