Woman in hospital after sledgehammer attack

CREATED Dec. 16, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - A pregnant woman is in the hospital after being attacked with a sledgehammer.  

The suspect's father feared his mentally ill son would lose control some day.  He shared his story with Charles Benson.
 
It was Malcolm Wright's parents who called 9-1-1 to report the attack last week.
 
Their nightmare is all too familiar for families that struggle with mental illness. 
 
The father says he locked the doors in hopes of keeping his 25-year old bipolar son from getting out of the house.
 
But last Wednesday Malcolm managed to use a samurai sword to break a neighbor's door according to the criminal complaint.
  
A little boy escaped with no shirt or shoes. A pregnant woman was hit multiple times in the chest, back and head with a sledgehammer. 
 
"In my son's case he hears voices and the voices make him act out,' said Malcolm's father Andrew.
 
For seven years the family says they tried to get help for Malcolm and sometimes it worked.
 
Benson: So what kind of help, where were the doors closed?
Father: The doors were closed in the sense of the time span. He did go to the institution several times. It was just a cycle that they can let you in and then they can let you out.
 
Malcolm is now charged with Recklessly Endangering Safety with a dangerous weapon and Physical Abuse of a Child.
 
Andrew has one wish for his son.
 
"That he can get the help he needs and not just thrown into prison with the hard knocks. Get him into a place where he can get the help."
 
After the attack on the neighbor, Malcolm returned home and calmly said: "I'm sorry dad," according to the criminal complaint.
 
The family says this is not the first time he has acted out.