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News Story
Updated: 05/18/2014 08:00:01AM

Baker Act numbers alarming

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SUN FILE PHOTO BY PETER ARATARI

Punta Gorda Police engaged in a standoff with a resident last month on Olympia Avenue. It started as a traffic stop for driving the wrong way on Olympia. The man later surrendered, and was involuntarily committed under the Baker Act.

SUN PHOTO BY JENNIFER BRUNO
Roxana Duren, social services coordinator at Riverside Behavioral Center in Punta Gorda, speaks with her colleagues during a morning meeting. Duren, who did a doctoral dissertation on stigma, champions public awareness and education regarding mental health issues.

By BRENDA BARBOSA

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Editor’s note: Another in an occasional series looking at mental health care in Florida.

At about 9:30 p.m. April 28, Punta Gorda Police Officer Chris Salsman conducted what seemed like a routine traffic stop. Salsman was on patrol near the city’s downtown that night when he noticed a blue Lincoln sedan traveling the wrong way down a one-way street.

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