A family's startling encounter with a strange woman in their home happened while the woman was suffering from a mental crisis. The incident was caught on camera and it is hard to watch.
KHOU 11 News debated whether it would be insensitive to tell the story, but we decided to share it, because there's a life-saving lesson for everyone.
"The lady came in, opened the door, shut the door back up, locked it," said Jose Gonzalez, describing what happened inside his Jacinto City home. "Saying something was chasing her, that she needed help."
The family is sharing this cell phone video and we agreed to air it only so other families can be better prepared.
"We really didn't know what to do," said Gabriela Gonzalez, his sister.
Jacinto City Police got a call Wednesday morning about a woman running down the street wrapped in just a towel. They were already following her when she walked through an open door and into the Gonzalez family's home.
"We feel it was a crisis situation where somebody was needing help, crying for help," said Chief Joe M. Ayala, Jacinto City Police.
Police got her safely back to her family. However, the next day they got a call about the same woman again. This time she wasn't in a stranger's house, a neighbor just heard her screaming.
"She was somewhat incoherent, she wasn't making sense what she was talking about," Ayala said.
Relatives agreed to let police take her to Ben Taub Hospital to be treated, for mental health.
However, the Gonzalez family worries about what could have gone wrong.
"When somebody comes into your house like that somebody might pull out a gun," Jose Gonzalez said.
Police say if you see someone having a mental episode, don't hesitate to call 911, stay calm and listen. This family hopes others will be more aware.
"I send my prayers to her family who are with her everyday," Gabriela Gonzalez said.
According to National Alliance On Mental Illness, 1 in 5 adults experiences some sort of mental illness in the United States. Anxiety disorders are what doctors diagnosis the most. However, 60 percent of adults who suffer from mental illness are not getting the help they need.
For more information on resources and support groups, click here.