Prominent Greenville, South Carolina mental health advocate and aspiring politician Paton Blough is back in police custody this week after being arrested in connection with an incident that took place late last month in the Tar Heel State. Blough, 43, was detained near Clyde, North Carolina after fleeing Greenville in the midst of an apparent manic episode.
As we reported, Blough was detained after being “encountered” by deputies of the Haywood county sheriff’s office and shortly thereafter was committed to the care of the Haywood Regional Medical Center.
A year ago, Blough – who suffers from type one bipolar disorder – was jailed in Greenville on charges of second-degree domestic violence and assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct. Then in February, he was jailed again for refusing to abide by a court order enjoining him from harassing his ex-wife, Greenville businesswoman Marie Dunn-Blough.
This week, Blough was charged with one count of violating the conditions of his parole and one count of violating a permanent restraining order – again, involving alleged violations against Dunn-Blough. A bond hearing on these charges has been scheduled for 2:30 p.m. EDT at the Greenville county law enforcement center.
“When Blough is lucid, he is among the most intelligent, articulate and passionate advocates in the nation,” we noted last month. “When he is not lucid? Watch out …”
This would appear to be another “watch out” moment …
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Blough (above) is extremely well-known and well-connected in Greenville. So is his wife, who is the president of Redhype – a successful Greenville, S.C.-based marketing and advertising agency. Blough is also very friendly with several reporters at The Greenville News, which has afforded him access to favorable coverage from the paper.
Or … non-coverage, it would appear.
That is one reason we cover his “situation.”
Another reason? Public safety … something we hope the judge who hears this case (and the solicitors who must ultimately determine how to proceed with the charges) bear in mind at every step of the way.
They have certainly been warned as to the volatility of this situation in no uncertain terms – and not just by Dunn-Blough, either.
“I had to draw a line in the sand,” one of Blough’s longtime friends wrote in a letter to Upstate solicitor Walt Wilkins, referring to the former’s escalating mania.
As we have previously noted, there is no cure for bipolar disorder. It can be treated (to some extent) with medication, although those afflicted with it often refuse to take their pills as prescribed – an issue commonly referred to as “treatment compliance.” Also, bipolar episodes tend to become more frequent and severe over time – often progressing into what is referred to as “rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.” Such episodes routinely lead to the sort of psychoses Blough referenced.
This news outlet will continue to follow Blough’s saga, hoping he gets the “serious, sustained clinical attention” he needs “before he hurts himself or someone else.”
UPDATE: According to our sources, bond was denied on the charges Blough is currently facing.
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