On September 26, 2021, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) responded to a call about a mental emergency at a residence in Bunnell. The subject, identified as Ronald Wright (DOB: 1/30/1972), had killed the family’s bird, destroyed the inside of the residence, and was threatening to kill family members.

The reporting party stated Wright became violently destructive and manic. He advised that Wright was acting strange that afternoon and his behavior continued to become more aggressive. When Wright entered the residence, he attacked the family’s birdcage, throwing it to the ground, stomping on it, and bending the bars. The bird ended up on the kitchen floor where he grabbed it, decapitated the bird, and threw the body across the house.

Wright became more agitated and made homicidal statements to others in the home about family members and friends he wanted to kill. He approached one occupant of the home and stated he was “planning to remove his eye.” Wright then smashed and jumped out a window and picked up a plastic lawn chair and began to hit a parked vehicle with it.

Upon deputies’ arrival, Wright was standing in the front of the residence with what was believed to be blood on his right arm and abdominal area. He was yelling incoherent statements and resisting deputies attempting to secure him for safety.

“This was a sad and scary incident for everyone involved,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “This is also an example of how situations can escalate to more dangerous crimes and this behavior could be a warning sign that there may be more going on with this guy. He needs professional help before he escalates further.”

Due to the totality of circumstances, Wright was placed in protective custody and transported to Halifax Hospital under a Baker Act. Following medical treatment, Wright was released on October 4, 2021. He was then arrested for Felony Animal Cruelty and Assault on a Person 65 or Over. He’s being held at the Volusia County Jail on a $25,000 bond and will be transferred to Flagler County.

FCSO wants to remind residents that if they are dealing with a mental health crisis or have suicidal thoughts, you are not alone! There are numerous resources for help with mental health struggles in Flagler County. For more information visit http://www.flaglerlifeline.org/local-mental-health-services/ or call 800-273-8255.  You can also visit: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Media Release: Melissa Morreale, Public Affairs Officer

Organizational Services Division, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

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