Mom seeking justice for son allegedly attacked in local mental health facility

NOW: Mom seeking justice for son allegedly attacked in local mental health facility

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A South Bend woman is looking for justice for her son who was allegedly beaten inside of a local psychiatric hospital.

Jane Vanvynckt said the court should be putting a lot more serious charges on her son’s, Toby Vanvynckt, 21, alleged attacker Jake Brunette, 22.

“By the time we got up to Memorial, I feared that my child was already dead,” Vanvynckt said.

Her son is currently suffering from permanent brain damage after allegedly being beat and strangled by Brunette last Thursday.

According to court documents, Brunette admitted to investigators that he strangled his then-roommate Vanvynckt, because he should have never called him an expletive. Vanvynckt was under sedation after he had been given sedatives at the facility.

“He said he was going to kill him and he tried to,” his mother said.

Vanvynckt’s family said Brunette did not want Vavynckt in his room. They told ABC 57 News Brunette told Epworth staff members, ‘if you put that n----- in my room, I’ll kill him.’

“We’re feeling like does anybody care, you know,” Vanvynckt’s mother said.

Brunette has been charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury, a level 5 felony, and strangulation, a level 6 felony.

“Is this just one more mentally ill person who nobody cares whether he lives or not that the world would be better off without him or whatever,” she said. “But you know what, I don’t feel that way, this is my son.”

In a statement given to ABC 57 News from Beacon Health System, officials say:

We can confirm an incident happened Thursday involving two patients at Epworth. Beacon is following all appropriate protocols. Due to patient privacy, we’re not able to share further details.



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