ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – Twenty-six year-old Derek Ficik of Maryland Heights is in custody after making violent threats against a St. Charles church and pastor.
In an exclusive interview with FOX 2, Ficik’s mother, Stacy Fox, says her son doesn’t belong in jail, but in a group home to treat his mental illnesses.
“I’ve never cried this much, ever,” says Fox, who’s had trouble sleeping ever since her son was arrested for leaving threatening voicemails on the Matthais’ Lot Church answering machine. He’s now charged with two felony counts of making a terrorist threat.
Ficik’s mother works to fight back tears and explains, “It’s very frightening, all of this to me. He keeps calling me, he’s been calling me all day, just saying mom, can I come home, can you get me out of here? And I don’t think he understands what he’s done, how serious it is.”
Fox says her son suffers from bipolar disorder and Asperger’s, a form of autism. But therapy has been hard to come by for the unemployed 26 year-old. He even tried admitting himself to a hospital, but was turned away.
Fox explains, “I got a call the second night from one of the nurses on the floor and she said, we just discharged Derek, and I said why? I asked for you to keep him. And she said, the doctor wrote the orders. We let him go.”
Now, the troubled young adult could face jail time. Police were able to track the voice mails back to Ficik because he’d visited the church just last week.
St. Charles Police Spokesman David Senter says, “Apparently while he was there, he filled out some sort of comment card or interest card that included his phone number which was unfortunate for him, because the voice recorder also captured that number.”
Church members are shaken by the threats. They considered cancelling this year’s Christmas concert, and the pastor temporarily moved into a hotel. But Fox begs them not to be frightened. She says, “It breaks my heart because he’s not a villain. He truly does have a gentle spirit, he loves his little sister he would do anything for us.”
At this point, she hopes her son will be tried through the mental health courts and eventually move to a group home, where he can get the help he needs.
“He really needs to be there,” Fox says, “where he’s monitored with his meds every day. I’m busy with working and with my daughter, and I can’t be there every—I’d like to be, but I can’t.”
Ficik is being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond. No word yet on when he’ll appear in court.