WATERVILLE (WGME) – A Waterville man was arrested in California Sunday after he allegedly made threats toward employees at Google’s worldwide headquarters.
The suspect’s father, however, said his son suffers from mental illness and that he just wants his son to get the help he needs.
According to police, 33-year-old Kyle Long was upset because his YouTube channel had been taken down. Google owns YouTube.
Long’s father said his son drove to California to convince Google executives to put his YouTube channel back up.
Police said it took Kyle Long four days to drive 3,300 miles cross country from his home in Waterville to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
Long’s father, who did not want to be interviewed on camera, told WGME that his son suffers from a mental illness and he was not well when he left.
Jenna Mehnert, executive director of Nationally Alliance of Mentally Ill Maine chapter, said Long likely was experiencing symptoms of mania, which she described as “extreme risk-taking behavior, goal-directed, quick to be irritable. … Mania gives people sort of superhuman strength, the ability to keep going, so driving for long periods of
Waterville police alerted police in California, who spotted Long and arrested him.
Long’s father said Long was experiencing a mental health problem when he created a YouTube channel he thought would make everyone millionaires.
He said Long’s wife actually was the one who took the channel down but told him that Google did it, hoping it would calm him down.
Police reported they recovered three baseball bats in Long’s car. But his father insisted they were not weapons but rather his grandson’s Little League bats that already were in the car.
Police in California arrested Long on suspicion of criminal threatening.
Mehnert said that jail was not where Long should be right now.
“No, absolutely not,” she said. “Unfortunately, more and more in this country, it’s becoming the way we manage it is to incarcerate people. Being arrested and thinking the mental health issue will be addressed is simply not going to happen.”
Long’s father said he just wanted his son to get the help he needs.