Jaron Thomas was a 36-year-old man who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He often struggled with hallucinations, but was a devoted father of three and was dealing with his mental health issues as best he could. Due to his struggles with schizophrenia, Jaron had been informed by mental health professionals to call 911 whenever he needed help. On January 14, 2017, he did as he was instructed - as he had done in the past - and called 911 for help. This time would not be like the others.
On the 911 call obtained by the family, Jaron calmly explained to the dispatcher that he was hearing voices and felt like he would be shot. He also made it clear that he was unarmed and was seeking a medic. He admitted to using cocaine, and stated that his heart was racing and he would never do so again. He repeatedly stated that he was hearing voices and needed an ambulance to respond to the scene. He ended up in the hospital, spending a week on life support. He fought for his life but passed away on January 23, 2017.
Several Columbus Police Officers, lacking the training to deal with mental health patients, responded to the scene instead of the medic requested. Jaron was hospitalized with severe brain damage, head contusions, a blood clot near his sternum, at least one broken rib, and other injuries. So far the family has received no response from the Columbus Police Department as to why Jaron suffered the aforementioned injuries, although the family filed a formal complaint with the Internal Affairs Bureau of the Columbus Police Department on January 15, 2017.
On January 20, 2017, the Columbus Police Department released a preliminary investigative report that stated that Jaron suffered an accidental overdose. It states that officers responded to the scene, and makes no mention of any altercation with Jaron. The report simply reads that “officers arrived on scene and advised medics to come in.”
The family asked when to expect answers into the death of their loved one. They were told “no one cares...”