Mother of missing man says communication breakdown led police, hospital to release her son onto the streets

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ST. LOUIS – The search was on Monday night for a mentally challenged man who was apparently released onto city streets by police instead of being taken back to the hospital for treatment. His family is worried and angry.

Zachary Noland, 31, suffered brain damage about 10 years ago when he was struck in the head with a baseball bat. Since then, he’s suffered from a condition similar to both bipolar and schizophrenia.

“If they just assaulted somebody, why would you let them out?” Lisa Noland, Zachary’s mother, said.

Lisa and her family were rushing to St. Louis Monday to begin searching for her son.

He was being treated at South City Hospital, got into a fight, and was taken to jail. Officials said he was then released onto the streets of St. Louis where he doesn’t know anybody. He’s originally from Kansas City. His mom said his mental capacity is that of a young teenager.

“I’m concerned for his safety,” Lisa said. “He’s out on the streets. He has no ID, no money, no phone. He has no way to eat.”

And he’s missing medical treatment and his important medication.

St. Louis Police released a statement saying Zachary needed a ‘fit for confinement’ order from the hospital in order to be arrested.

It continued: “We encourage you to reach out to the hospital for further clarification.”

FOX 2 contacted South City Hospital and they also released the following statement: “We provided the police department with the proper paperwork. Unfortunately, there was a breakdown in communication along the way which we will look to address.”

Shanna Burns, the Platte County, Missouri Public Administrator was appointed Zachary’s guardian years ago and she said police were notified to call her if they were going to release him from jail.

“Both officers did not, to my knowledge, call,” she said.

Zachary’s mom is angry but right now she just wants to make sure her son is okay.

“He’ll just act really out of sorts, probably make no sense, talk about cameras, people watching him, people after him,” she said. “Think of it as one of your children. I just want him safe.”

Zachary also has COVID, which his mom said for some reason makes him even more paranoid.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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