Florida man ruled insane in father's stabbing ditches mental health facility


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 23-year-old man who walked away from a behavioral health center on the city's Southside Wednesday afternoon was located unharmed several hours later, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities said Bamboo Flute Blanchard was taken into custody by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.

Blanchard left Wekiva Springs Hospital on Salisbury Road, where he was receiving court-ordered treatment, shortly before 1 p.m., police said. He was last seen near University Boulevard and Beach Boulevard.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Blanchard has a history of mental health issues in addition to violent tendencies. Facility staff said he should be considered a danger to himself and others.

While police did not elaborate on that point, court records shed some light.

Blanchard was charged with attempted first-degree murder after his father was stabbed in the chest with a pocket knife in an unprovoked attack at the family's Gainesville home in June 2013. He was later found not guilty by reason of insanity.

He was diagnosed in 2014 with psychotic disorder in addition to polysubstance dependence disorder. The latter is characterized by an addiction to being under the influence without a preference for any specific drug.

Court records show he was arrested once more in October 2016 for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Jacksonville police announced about 7:15 p.m. that Blanchard had been found safe. 

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