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Crime & Courts

South Carolina Mental Health Advocate’s Latest Arrest Makes National News

The sad saga of Paton Blough rolls on …

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Paton Blough is a mental health advocate from Greenville, South Carolina who has done exemplary work attempting to help law enforcement officers better handle interactions with those suffering from mental illnesses.

The problem? As I noted the last time he was arrested, Blough continues to “do battle with his own mental health demons.” The founder of Rehinge – a nonprofit dedicated to helping facilitate better police treatment of the mentally ill – Blough cannot seem to keep from becoming unhinged.

Blough suffers from type one bipolar disorder – a condition which produces a “level of psychosis … (that) would shock almost anyone,” to use his own words.

This condition has produced multiple arrests in recent years – including one following an outburst at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) last week.

Blough’s most recent meltdown is drawing national attention after it was captured in two-and-a-half minute video clip posted to Barstool Sports

As of this writing, the clip published by Barstool Sports had attracted nearly four million views.

In the aftermath of the incident, Blough was arrested by officers of the Port of Seattle police force and charged with criminal trespassing and obstructing a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duties. His bond was set at $500 on both of those charges, but he remains incarcerated as of this writing.

Not everyone was thrilled with the handling of Blough’s case – especially by the media.

“We’re not set up to help with care of degenerative diseases period, much less a degenerative brain disease,” a friend of Blough told me. “Paton’s case isn’t a ‘get him all fixed up on the right dose and he’ll be good to go!’ He’s truly sick, and our healthcare system isn’t set up for what he needs.”

“He used to work to help make the situation he’s in better,” the friend continued. “Police training for mental health calls, et cetera, (but) now his disease has progressed to the point that he’s lost everything, and people are making fun of him on the internet. Barstool is making money off of his degenerative brain disease, and that’s disgusting.”

In September of 2021, this news outlet reported on Blough’s arrest by North Carolina authorities following a vehicular pursuit spanning three counties in the Tar Heel State. That incident began with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP) attempting to pull Blough over because he was traveling the wrong way on an Interstate 85 entrance ramp.

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That arrest was Blough’s third in the span of a little over a year. In covering that incident, I noted just how sad Blough’s story truly was …

“(Blough) is an incredibly adept, effective advocate … when he is in his right mind,” I noted.

“In fact, his group has helped train law enforcement agencies on how to effectively deal with mentally ill individuals they encounter during the performance of their duties,” I added. “Which is important work.”

When Blough is not in his right mind?

“Watch out,” I warned.

The day before he fled to North Carolina, Blough contacted this news outlet alleging that his vehicle was parked outside of a Greenville, S.C. club – with a bomb inside it. I forward this information to local law enforcement. In a separate message posted to his Facebook page, Blough claimed a Greenville sheriff’s deputy “on the bomb squad” was responsible for placing the bomb on his vehicle.

Stay tuned … this news outlet will be sure to provide our readers with an update on Blough’s status as soon as we have one.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks on phone
Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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