Man on Bay Bridge, on mental edge
November 15, 2010 1:00 PM
How would you label someone who drives their SUV with their 15-year old daughter inside and threatens to kill themselves on the Bay Bridge during morning commute?
Would you call them insane? Or someone who is crying out for help?
Most commuters who were stuck in the two-hour standstill traffic jam on Thursday morning would label 51-year-old Craig Carlos-Valentino as insane.
But the people who understood where the man was coming from would realize that this was a man's breaking point.
The Antioch security guard threatened to blow himself up on the bridge with a pipe bomb while dealing with marital problems with his wife of over 20 years.
What caused his "meltdown?" It was said that his wife had made a recent change to her Facebook relationship status and he assumed she was having an affair.
Could a social networking site cause someone to want to end their life?
It could, but this wasn't the only burden Carlos-Valentino was facing, it was just the cherry on top of the sundae that sent him into orbit.
What frustrated commuters didn't know was that Carlos-Valentino, a previous Red Cross employee, was now working some security jobs at local San Francisco nightclubs to support his wife, eight children and one grandchild.
He was sleeping in his car from Thursday to Saturday, the commute being too much for him to bear. This change meant less time with his family and more effort into his marriage.
Granted, stress is something we face every day and there are different ways of handling it than pulling out a pellet gun and saying you have a pipe bomb in your car while holding up hundreds of commuters for a couple hours on a busy Bay Area bridge. But when you need help, that's all that matters.
Luckily everything ended without death or injury and aside from the traffic, the charges of felony child endangerment, felony criminal threats and brandishing a firearm, Carlos-Valentino will get the help he needs.
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