SHILOH, IL (KTVI) – It’s another unfortunate instance of an untreated mental illness leading to senseless violence. In this case, an elderly Illinois man was victimized.
A 69 year-old Shiloh man, who did not want to release his name, was taking his daily morning walk around his subdivision, just off Old Collinsville Road. Suddenly a man he didn’t recognize approached him.
The victim said hello, and the suspect punched him in the face. He then patted the victim down, and not finding anything, ran back into a nearby home on Old Schoolhouse Court.
Police tracked down the suspect, Changa Bakar, and quickly determined that he was mentally ill.
Shiloh Police Detective Sgt. Kyle Bade explains, “The suspect has been diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and is on medication for such, but was off the medication at the time when this occurred. So we think that was possibly the motive.”
Bade adds, “He believed the person was armed, the victim was armed, and obviously the victim did not display a weapon or anything like that at the time.”
Bakar is now being held in the St. Clair County Jail, charged with aggravated battery against a victim over 60 years of age, which is a felony.
Bade says Bakar’s mental illness could impact how he’ll be tried: “A lot of things could happen with this; I believe the state’s attorney is going to request to the judge, instead of any jail time that the suspect would receive, to get a mental health evaluation, and make sure he gets on the right medication to make sure he can curb his illness the way it needs to be treated.”
Bakar has been charged with misdemeanors in the past.