Make your home page

Man released from jail following I-Team 8 investigation

Out of jail after an I-Team 8 investigation

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Cole Wenck was serving two years in the Hendricks County jail. His mother told I-Team 8’s Richard Essex her son had a number of mental health diagnoses that have never been addressed by any court. After our story on the lack of a mental health court in Hendricks County and the struggles Cole has endured, the judge released Cole to his mother.

“Well, I think it was due to the last news coverage”, said Tina Forcier, Cole’s mother. She gave I-Team 8 a series of pictures of her son minutes after he was released from jail. She says Cole wasn’t given any of his medication for several weeks and it caused his behavior to spiral out of control, which led a judge to revoke his work release probation  

“There really wasn’t an actual charge that I’m aware of. It’s just that he stopped taking his medication and they didn’t know what else to do, so they put him in jail, but then they put him in jail without his medication,” said Forcier. 

When the Hendricks County judge ordered Cole be released to her custody, Forcier was given almost no time or resources to find a psychiatric hospital or facility that would take him. He hasn’t taken any medication for at least a month. His behavior turns aggressive without medication, earlier this week he had an episode.

“This has got to be the worst one I have seen yet. It was very scary,” said Forcier 

Earlier this year I-Team 8’s Richard Essex sat down with Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush to discuss her efforts to expand problem-solving courts in Indiana. Not every county has the same services, and had Cole been arrested in another county, he might have been treated instead of jailed.

Adjusting the imbalance of justice by geography will take money. 

“I think it will have to be, and also for smaller communities. You are going to see counties band together because they might not have the resources to have one. The general assembly this year is to fund the drug courts instead of funding the tail end, which is long periods of incarceration doing the front end. We have about 4000 participants in problem-solving courts a year, and that is growing and that is 4000 lives saved,” said Rush. 

Tina is thrilled to have her son out of jail. Cole was admitted to a hospital and is getting help. He is expected to be released over the weekend. However, she says Cole needs long-term care at a facility that will monitor his medication and help him get back to work. She says his options very limited.