What would you do in this situation?

  1. I'm gonna apologize in advance for how long this is going to be. I currently live in an area that is 99% student housing near my school (kind of a "student ghetto"). Most resident have sold their homes and moved out, since the area can be loud and isn't very well-kept. The only non-student is a man that lives across the street from us. The guy is nice enough: overly friendly, very talkative (to the point where if he says hi to you, you will for sure be locked in conversation for the better part of an hour), and he even lets me park in his drive way. He is probably in his mid to late 40s, and lives with his mom, presumably because she has some kind of illness or disability. I always assumed it was a disability because, after 3 years of living here, I have not once seen her outside of the house. A few weeks ago, during another conversation that was going on for much too long, he mentioned that sometimes if she accidentally turns on the TV she freaks out because the voices in it convince her that there are people in the house trying to kill each other, and that she freaks out if the phone rings. This led me to believe it was a mental illness and not a physical one, but it really wasn't my business so I didn't give it much thought. A few days later, he walked out of his house looking incredibly stressed out and mentioned that she had had an accident and he has spent all day cleaning up after it. Again, I didn't think much of it and just assumed incontinence and didn't ask any questions. Another thing I should mention: although the curtains are always pulled, you can still see through some glass panes by the door and between the curtains, and the mess inside the house frankly makes the unabombers cabin look like it was designed by Martha Stewart. From what my housemates and I can see, these are not exactly ideal living conditions.

    So today, while doing some reading on the porch, I saw the mother for the first time. She had opened the main door, but there seemed to be a chair in the way that was keeping her from opening the screen. She was trying to move the chair, but she is a very small woman (like, 4 ft I would say) and was having a really hard time doing it. My gut instinct was that the chair had been used to keep the door closed (the man always leaves the house through the side door anyway), and she had pushed it to the side, opened the door about 45 degrees, but couldn't move it all the way..or at least enough to allow her to move to the screen door and open it. I just told myself that I was jumping to conclusions (and I may very well have been) and went inside.

    Later on in the day, I was thinking about it and it just dawned on me that no matter what kind of illness she had--physical or mental--it's still not kosher to lock someone inside a house all day. I had assumed for the past few years that she was disabled and couldn't leave the house, but today she was definitely on her feet so I think that possibility is almost completely ruled out. Whatever she may be suffering from, she would probably benefit more from being in a facility where they can take care of her. I just found it so disturbing and inhumane that he did this, but again just told myself I was overreacting and nothing that weird was going on.

    Anyway, earlier tonight my housemate and I were sitting on the porch, and she noticed that the door across the street was open (but not the screen door), so told her about what I saw earlier. She also agreed that it was odd. Then, coincidentally, we saw the guy walking down the street. Normally, he would stop off at our porch, talk to us for like four years, and then go to his place. But this time, he made a beeline across the street directly and he was visibly angry. I'm assuming that he noticed the door was open and that's why he reacted that way. He walks in, shuts the door behind him, and starts yelling at her (presumably, because she is the only other person that lives there). This yelling went on for a constant 20-25 minutes, and it was so loud that despite the closed door and closed windows, we could clearly hear it from across the street. We couldn't understand what he was saying because it was in another language, but from the glass part of the door you could tell that he was bending over constantly as he was doing this (as in, bending over completely, 90 degrees). It was all very bizarre, and we both obviously felt really bad for the person being yelled at. After that, he looked through the window at us a few times, but we pretended not to have noticed anything and just kept talking as usual.

    Anyway, I'm not really sure what to do now. Does anyone have any experience with this, or any advice? Is this technically abuse? Am I just overreacting? Should I call someone, and if so, who? Do I even have any grounds to call someone? I would feel really guilty if I reported it and nothing was going on. I would really appreciate any opinions or advice about this and what I should do.
  2. That is a sad situation. It doesn't seem right. Poor lady just wants to go outside, and not be yelled at like that. He might even abuse her, but of course we don't know that. I would honestly call someone, not sure who would take care of this though. Maybe call the non emergency for the cops and tell them the story and say it's worth looking into. Please do something about this, you could be her only hope.
  3. please call the police. how do you even know it's his mother in there? this just reminds me of the west virginia torture case. he could be keeping some poor lady locked up in there against her will. definitely call the police anonymously and have them check it out.
  4. Wow, that is sad how he traps his mom inside. No matter what illness the mother has, he needs to let her go outside.. At least a little walk outside. That is not good to stay in the house and never come out.. Just the thought of it depresses me... And you even saw her trying to get out, so that shows she really wants to get out.... When you talk to this guy, does he sound normal or does her seem a little weird.. I think you should ask him about his mom. Since he talks so much, the next time he talks to you, try to bring up the subject of his mother. Ask him if you can visit her, or tell him you would like to meet his mom...
  5. This is strange but my feeling is that he talks to you to get your trust so you wouldn't think about reporting him. You said something about the woman being about 4 ft. With all the strange things going on lately with kids, he might have kidnapped someone and keeping him/her locked up. Yep, I would call the cops. Please don't take your time. Call as soon as you can.
  6. I agree with all the ladies here. Something is not ight here. Please do something about it ASAP. You don't wanna wait till it's too late...
  7. So...nobody thinks I'm overreacting? And I'm totally justified in trying to report him despite the minimal evidence?
  8. YES! Please do something before it's too late.
  9. Are you able to call adult protective services in your area? I think you should definitely alert somebody about the situation and try to help the woman.
  10. I don't think that you are overreacting & you should definitely follow your instincts. Often we shouldn't but do ignore those nagging little feelings that tell us something is wrong. It's so much better to play it safe & have the police investigate. If nothing bad is going on then really no harm done but if there is abuse then it needs to be stopped. If you're anything like me, you will always wonder about that little old lady & whether she needed help. Best of luck & kudos to you for being a concerned & caring citizen.:flowers::flowers::flowers:
  11. You need to call someone, the police???? Can you do it on a hotline where they have no record of who you are? You don't want him coming after you if he is unstable. If the lady is so short--she may not be his mother but a child. Trust your instincts. Can you talk to a counsler at school. I am sure there are social services that can check this whole situation out.
  12. I would check with whatever department in your local government deals with Seniors and they should at least be able to point you in the right direction.

    It could be that all the various nightmarish possibilities that come to mind are happening, or it could be just a case of the son not really having the level of emotional and mental health that a care-giver needs to have.

    Whatever the situation, both need to be hooked up with some help.