As the Vanguard reported on Wednesday, 62-year-old Vincent Craft, a Vietnam veteran, is facing at least five felony charges stemming from a November 11, 2017 (Veteran’s Day), suicide attempt. Mr. Craft was in court on Wednesday for a pre-hearing conference before retired Judge Stephen Mock.
On Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017, Vincent Craft, a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD and going through a bitter divorce, attempted to take his own life. Reports from sheriff’s deputies say they were called to a rural area in Yolo County for a welfare check on Vincent Craft, who was described as telling the reporting party he had held a gun to his head and was threatening to kill himself. There were also reports that he had threatened to kill his landlord and that he may have multiple weapons.
After a confrontation, he was arrested and faces five felony charges.
His defense attorney, Deputy Public Defender Dean Johansson, told the court that the case involves a man who experienced suicidal thoughts and was subsequently arrested. “We are hoping for a resolution,” Mr. Johansson told the court. “He is receiving psychiatric care from the Veteran’s administration and doing well.”
All sides agreed to put the matter over for four weeks until June 13, as the defense has provided the prosecution with documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Craft served in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1975, when he received an honorable discharge from the military.
According to an assessment by Stephen DeBoever, a veterans’ advocate, “Mr. Craft “describes difficulty with stress related to traumatic experiences he sustained while in the military.”
Among other experiences, he was “attacked by a bull shark while diving at 45 feet underwater.” He says, “He recalls fearing he might die from injury or the shark attack. He has flashbacks of his experiences.”
Presently he “describes difficulty with depressed mood, anxiety and panic symptoms. He has difficulty with concentration and obsessive thinking. He has difficulty with sleep disturbance… nightmares and night sweats. He experiences an elevated startle response and a tendency toward being hyper-alert and hyper-vigilant to his surroundings.”
According to the report by Dr. Jerry Jurgenson, “He indicates his distress has significantly impacted work, social and intimate relationships. He reveals symptoms associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. His distress appears related to and likely caused by the traumatic experiences he sustained while in the military.”
The doctor’s recommendation: “I would suggest Mr. Craft continue to pursue his application for assistance from the Veterans Administration.”
Mr. Craft has no criminal record. Mr. Craft now faces at least five strikes and could face the rest of his life in prison, as he is charged with two counts of assault with a firearm upon a peace officer, with enhancements for the use of a firearm, exhibiting a firearm to a peace officer, and two counts of criminal threats.
His next hearing will be June 13 in front of Judge David Rosenberg.
—David M. Greenwald reporting