Opinion: The homeless man who assaulted my pastor needed help. So I wrote a letter to The Times

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To the editor: Recently, a homeless man kicked a Westwood Presbyterian minister in the head in an unprovoked attack in front of his church. He also engaged in a racist rant toward our African American minister.

Instead of summoning the city's mental health response team, the police took him to the police station, then released him.

As a psychiatrist, I have observed numerous suicides and even a homicide resulting from mentally unstable people who are either dangerous to themselves or others not being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

Perhaps the police should have considered calling the city's mental health team to evaluate this person before releasing him. So, we have to wait now and hope that this story doesn't end on a tragic note.

Jura Adams, MD, Sherman Oaks

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.