LAFAYETTE (KRON) — The mother of the man accused of viciously attacking a woman on BART is apologizing Thursday night for her son’s action.
The victim is recovering in the hospital. The mother says she saw our report on KRON4 and felt compelled to come forward.
Now, the suspect’s mother says her son was off his medication at the time of the attack.
She spoke exclusively with KRON4’s Lydia Pantazes.
The mother of a man who is accused of attacking a 73-year old woman on a BART train is speaking out about the attack.
She has a message for the victim.
She heard about the attack like most of us did, on the news.
When KRON4 spoke with her, she was extremely emotional and upset at the situation.
She says the suspect comes from a loving family who has tried everything to help him.
“It’s really sad….My heart is so broken and so hurt,” mother Felicia Cole said.
Cole says she’s tried everything to help her son, 23-year-old Wilbert Winchester.
He is accused of attacking the 73-year old woman on a BART train Wednesday morning.
Cole heard about the attack on the news.
“I’m sorry, that’s all I can say is that I’m sorry because that is my son and I know that, if in fact, he was in his right mind, he wouldn’t have done that to her,” Cole said.
Cole says her son is bipolar schizophrenic and says at times he will refuse to take his medication.
“And it’s sad for a parent to have to go through things that I’m going through to try to help my son, not just me but speaking of all the other people that are out there that have mental issues like him, bipolar schizophrenic, they don’t know what they’re doing,” Cole said.
Cole says her son used to live with her but recently started living on the streets.
“My son has been in and out of jail, in and out of the mental hospitals, and because he’s grown now, over 18, they keep telling him there’s nothing for them to do.”
Getting help has been a struggle.
Cole says she’s tried everything and wants people to understand that her son is battling mental illness.
“Something needs to be done, but it makes it seem when you listen to the news, it makes it seem like my son is a horrible person, and he’s not,” Cole said. “He just needs help because he is sick.”