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Titus Young's father, Richard, told two Detroit newspapers on Monday that his son suffers from a mental health disorder and desperately needs help.
Titus Young, 23, was arrested Friday in California for the third time in a week for allegedly breaking into a home. He has been charged with attempted burglary, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest for the incident Friday. Less than a week earlier, Young was arrested in Riverside County on suspicion of driving under the influence, then arrested again the same day for allegedly trying to take his car from a tow yard.
The owner of the home that Young allegedly broke into told a TV station that he was loading the shotgun he keeps under his bed when Young approached his bedroom door. When police officers arrived at the scene, they found Young outside and captured him after a foot chase.
"I feel sorry for him, and I'm sure glad that he left and I didn't have to find out what's going to happen if he came in, because I'm afraid I would have shot him," Bill Palttos told KTLA-TV.
Richard Young told The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press that he took his son out for coffee earlier that day and the former Detroit Lions receiver appeared happy and was laughing. However, later that day, Titus Young said he was going out to his car to get his cellphone and drove off instead.
"We knew that something had happened to him or he was locked up again," Richard Young told The News. "His mind is not capable enough to go out and deal with society because of this situation."
He told The Free Press that his son has been prescribed the antidepressant Seroquel, which is used to treat bipolar disorders and schizophrenia.
"I hope they just forgive Titus because this ain't none of Titus; it wasn't none of his fault," he told The Free Press. "I look at my son right now, I don't see my son. That's not my son. I know my son."
In the interview with The News, he said he could not remember the name of the disorder his son suffers from but said it is caused when the brain is compressed into the front of a person's skull. He claims his son changed after suffering a concussion in 2011, his rookie season. The Lions did not list the receiver as suffering a concussion, however.
He told The News his son's treatment could take six months or less if he was dedicated to the treatment, but he hasn't been taking his medication as it was prescribed.
"He's not dealing with it the way he should be," Richard Young told the newspaper. "If the judge gives him a court order, then maybe he'll get the help he needs."
The Lions drafted Young in 2011 but released him in February after a drop in productivity and disputes with teammates.
Some of Young's fellow NFL receivers have expressed concern for him in recent days.
"A guy like Titus, I hear people say his career is over. Well first of all, it's really not about his career right now, it's about his life,'' Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said Monday in an interview with ESPN's "NFL Live."
Marshall, who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, has successfully received treatment and is now an advocate for mental health issues in the NFL. He said he tried to get Young into the same treatment program he went through but was unsuccessful.
"Months back, I wanted to get my hands on Titus, just sit down with him and possibly walk him into the doors of the same program I was in,'' Marshall told ESPN. "But I think there were some things in the way that kept us both from moving forward. And I am disappointed in that because, since then, it's just gotten worse and one of the things I stress was without the proper treatment, it's just going to make things worse.''
Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith, meanwhile, tweeted Monday that he was praying for Young.
"Prayers up for Titus right now...he is going thru something that seems easy outside looking in to handle...we don't know his problems," he wrote on Twitter. "...people do dumb things everyday and mess up great opportunities he's not the only one..just like them he needs help."
Young was in an Orange County, Calif., courtroom Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to three felony charges and five misdemeanor charges, according to Yahoo! Sports.
Six of Young's charges stem from a Friday altercation for which he is accused of breaking into a home and fighting with police. The other two charges, according to court filings, are the result of a May 4 incident where he was allegedly caught on a security camera stealing items from a gas station convenience store.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.