Police now confirm what many believed Wednesday.
The 16-year-old student who was rescued after climbing nearly 100 feet atop a light tower at Unicorn Stadium was in emotional distress, according to Capt. John McDonald, New Braunfels police spokesman.
“His intentions were unknown, but I don’t think they were good,” McDonald said.
To help avoid future incidents, the New Braunfels Independent School District will be installing a barrier system around its six towers built 40 years ago.
Rebecca Villarreal, the district’s spokeswoman, said until then, the first 20 feet of bolts that workers climbed to change out light bulbs, have been removed.
Having watched television coverage of the young man perched on that tower, Dr. Soad Michelsen, a psychiatrist and medical director of the Clarity Guidance Center, said she does not know why he did it.
But, she said, it seemed to represent his wanting to get as far away as he could from whatever his situation may be.
Although the student barely spoke to first responders, Michelsen said by putting himself in a dangerous predicament, “This child is just yelling, screaming, ‘I’m in pain. I need someone to help me out.’”
Michelsen said she urges parents with troubled sons and daughters to learn more about mental health at oneinfiveminds.org.
She said it describes how one in five young people go undiagnosed, never getting treatment.
Michelsen said many families don’t want to seek professional help because they’re embarrassed by mental illness.
She said, “It doesn’t always have to end up in a diagnosis, but it can end up in help for the child.”