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Family of man who allegedly stabbed police officer has tried for years to get him treatment

04/09/2015 10:10 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 05:59 EDT
The family of a man who allegedly stabbed a police officer in Mississauga Thursday say that he suffers from mental illness and that they have tried desperately for years to get him help.

Natasha Akhalwaya, the sister of 47-year-old Farhad Akhalwaya, said she called 911 after her brother showed up at her home and appeared to be in distress.

When an officer arrived at the residence, a physical altercation ensued and the officer was stabbed in the arm, police said without revealing what type of weapon was used. At some point, the officer discharged a weapon in Farhad's direction. 

The family says they then saw Farhad get into a police cruiser and drive away before he was apprehended on foot some time later.

He has been charged with attempted murder, theft over $5,000 and uttering threats. The officer involved in the incident was taken to hospital and is expected to recover, police said. 

"Our goal and intent today was to have him picked up and taken to hospital for assessment," his sister Natasha told CBC News in an interview at her home Thursday evening.

She said her brother is currently living on the street and is in and out of homeless shelters around the area. He has a history of violent behaviour and is not taking medication, she says.

The family says they have been forced to call police on Farhad numerous times in the past. Natasha installed an alarm system in her home and secured court-ordered conditions against her brother because his unpredictable behaviour frightens her and her family.

Several nights ago, Farhad called her at a late hour and wanted to come to her house.

"I couldn't let him in my home at 10:30 at night because it's a danger. I have a son, I can't put people at risk. It's so heartbreaking not being able to help somebody," she said.

Indeed, the family has been trying for years to get Farhad – who used to be a chef and lived a healthy lifestyle – the help he needs to live with mental illness.

But Natasha says whenever they try to take him to hospital doctors release him without treatment or medication. Similarly, Natasha says her brother's psychiatrist has refused to have him forcibly admitted to hospital for treatment.

"Whenever he gets to the hospital, he never makes it past the emergency room because the on-call doctor lets him go with no prognosis -- nothing. Whether he's gone in with police officers or by himself, he's fallen through the cracks," she said.

Without help from health-care professionals, Natasha worries her brother will continue to be a danger to himself and others.

 "If he doesn't get help, I'm afraid he's going to die this way and we're going to have to bury him."

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