TAMPA, Fla. — The man accused of "purposely" crashing his car into a family on bicycles -- killing a father in Tampa -- was released from a mental health facility less than a week before the crash. And, his parents believe the system failed him.
Mikese Morse, 30, is charged with premeditated first-degree murder for the death of Pedro Aguerreberry. His sons were also injured in the crash Sunday on a bike path near New Tampa Boulevard and Wood Sage Drive.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to that family," Mikese's father Michael Morse said.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan described the crime as a random act.
“It was purposely done," Dugan said. "And we don’t know why."
Police do, however, know that that this was their second contact with Morse in less than two weeks.
“On June 12, he walked into one of our district offices. He exhibited some odd behavior,” Dugan explained. “That behavior met the criteria for a Baker act and he was Baker acted back on June 12.”
The Baker Act allows officials to involuntarily commit a person exhibiting behavior which is deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
Parents Michael and Khadeeja Morse said their son was then admitted to Tampa's Gracepoint Wellness facility, which provides adult outpatient care for an array of mental health conditions. Staff said they could not confirm or deny Morse's admittance to the facility due to HIPPA. But, Mikese's family said he was there a week.
The facility has no power to hold someone against his or her will unless a doctor orders it to do so.
Michael and Khadeeja said they asked staff not to release their son, but he was let out anyway.
"We begged to have him stay in there," Michael explained. "We begged. We did not want this to happen to anybody. We didn't know that he would do anything like this. We just knew that he needed more help. And, we have tried for years to get him help."
Khadeeja said her son's mental health conditions began when he was in his late teens or early 20s.
"Mental health is no joke," Khadeeja said. "We have been trying for a long time to get help for our son. And, the system not only failed us. It failed him, and it failed that family. And, that's not right."
Michael and Khadeeja are grandparents with children around the ages of the Aguerreberry boys who lost their father. And, they repeatedly expressed their condolences to Aguerreberry's family.
"My son was in a psychotic state," Michael said. "He did not intentionally do this. He had been released from a mental health facility where he himself turned himself in because he knew something was going on. And, the system failed him and put him back on the streets. And, now we're dealing with the grief of two families."
Police said Mikese did not know the family he is accused of hitting with a vehicle. Acting on a tip, investigators found Morse’s car at his parents’ house in New Tampa.
Combing through his social media, they found disturbing videos posted before and after the incident. They found profanity-laced rants talking about the devil - and murder.
Mikese was a star track and field athlete in school. He tried out for the U.S. Olympic team more than once. Now, he is being held in the Hillsborough County jail.
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