Parents upset after son wanders off from mental health facility

5:43 AM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - A Rosemount couple wants changes made at a mental health facility after the parents say their son wandered away from the building and no one told them about it.

Eva and Dennis Braselman spent Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning searching for their 21-year old son, who is also named Dennis, after he did not arrive home in the afternoon.

"I was just in a sweat, in a panic," said Eva Braselman when she arrived home and her son wasn't there.

Braselman has a mental disability and his parents say he spends time in the afternoons at the Minnesota Mental Health Clinics in Eagan.

He gets therapy for his injuries he sustained after he was assaulted in 2010 while in Minneapolis, his parents tell KARE 11.

"His rational is not where it should be because of his injury, because of his brain injury," said his father. "He knows how to get home but he doesn't put the dots together, the easiest way to get home is to call. He'll just walk home."

Between taking a bus and walking several miles, his parents believe he left the clinic in the afternoon and did not arrive home until 3:30 Wednesday morning.

A bus driver from the clinic takes Braselman to his house in the afternoon, a ride the Braselman's have to confirm with the clinic every day, they say.

"If I don't call you, he can't get on the bus, but if he doesn't get on the bus you don't call me?" asked Eva Braselman.

She called police Tuesday night.

Eagan Police confirm they helped with the search.

Braselman typically gets home shortly after her son does, she said.

She found out her son did not ride the bus home after she contacted the clinic.

"And I said what did you do at that time? And they said, 'we didn't call, we dropped the ball'," she recalled.

Minnesota Mental Health Clinics would not talk on camera.

A spokesperson, Patty Roberts said she could not answer specific questions until she received written authorization from Braselman.

Roberts says people are free to leave the building whenever they choose and usually family members are contacted if a client doesn't make it on the bus

"A simple phone call would have made a world of difference," said Dennis Braselman. "I don't want anyone to experience what we had to experience, that's why I'm talking to you today," added Eva Braselman.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )

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