Tampa, Florida - An elderly Bay area father in the prime of his life is gearing up for the end of his life. Not for health reasons, though. He claims his own son has threatened him with a gun and he believes he'll use it.
The father says he's tried everything to try to help his son get back on his feet. He's allowing him to live in a home rent free, he's paying all of his utilities and has given him thousands and thousands of dollars, but not anymore.
We are not identifying the man out of concern for his safety. He says, "I'd be very embarrassed to be killed by my own son."
The father believes it could come down to that. He's retired and lives on social security, his retirement and investments. He financially supports his unemployed son. His son is an alcoholic, he says, who he had to call police on a week ago. The man says, "It was about five feet away from me--had the .44 magnum revolver and he waved it, to sort of, like, to me very, very threatening."
But according to a police report, the father wanting to protect his son told police he wasn't threatened or in fear for his life. It's something he now regrets. Especially in light of Diane Kyne's death. The Seminole mother who was strangled by her 23-year-old son, Kevin, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. His parents wanted him to move out in a month.
Last month, it was a similar story when Pinellas Park mother Debbie Neace's head was bashed in by her own 24-year-old son, Corey Hicks. According to detectives, the mother and son had argued about Corey's use of the car.
Officer Lisa Parashis of the Tampa Police Department says telling the truth is critical for parents in fear for their lives. Officer Parashis says, "It is very difficult later on to come back and say that I wasn't honest. I didn't tell you the whole story. It's difficult to change because down the road that's not going to be something that the state attorney will prosecute."
Parashis says it's also important for parents to know that there are more options out there than just sending their children to jail.
The executive director of the Family Justice Center says help is available. About 6,000 families have been served at the center at 9309 N. Florida Avenue Suite 109, which opened in 2006.
"We've got over 20 different agencies and programs all here in this location. So, once they get here, pretty much everything they need, we're going to be able to help them get to."
If you're in immediate danger call police but if you're not and you live outside of Hillsborough County and you need help call the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-500-1119. It's a statewide service. Your call will automatically be routed to an agency in your local community.
Tammie Fields, 10 News