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Fallbrook homeless veteran no longer on the street

Village News Staff

After the involvement of Sheriff, Fire, McDonald's and Adult Protection Services, Temecula Hospital, other community members, and the persistence of Tony Campbell, Glenn Holland is currently being taken care of in a rehabilitation center in Temecula. He was taken by ambulance to Temecula Valley Hospital last week and, apparently, enjoyed his time at the hospital very much.

During a visit by Village News and Tony Campbell of AC Investigations this weekend, Holland expressed his thankfulness for having a clean, warm bed and regular hot meals. He said he "felt like a king in a warm room with his own TV and bathroom and good food," although he said he doesn't watch TV much.

In an earlier phone conversation, Campbell said, "He started crying and thanked me from the bottom of his heart for saving his life." Campbell responded, "I've always liked you, this was just tough love."

A 72-year-old disabled Marine Corps veteran, Holland has been living in the cab of his truck for many months in a fast food restaurant parking lot in Fallbrook. After several calls to the Sheriff, Holland was cleared out of the cab of his truck and was left on the street in a wheelchair after his truck was towed.

His physical disability leaves him unable to drive the truck he was living in and he has been reported to suffer from PTSD. He was left slumped over his wheelchair at the corner of Main and Ammunition, without shoes or a blanket, and without a way to get to a bathroom.

Holland has been in rehab or veteran housing previously, aided by local homeless advocate Brad Fox, but apparently Holland is also fighting a meth addiction, which makes him unable to take advantage of some private programs like the transition home Fox is currently involved with as well as others around the county.

Kimberle Nye from Aging and Independent Services with the County of San Diego said she is very aware of Holland. She has a file on him, but her hands are tied if he refuses services. She did say that her department was investigating options.

Friday, June 9, the Sheriff's Department was called out to check on Holland in his truck.

Deputies Soto and Schellenger were on the scene.

Multiple attempts to get help for him have been met with resistance as Holland has chosen to live in his truck. Various community members have called the Sheriff after seeing the deplorable situation inside the cab. Holland has no way to get to a bathroom, so he is typically naked or just covered with a hospital gown and is reportedly defecating on himself inside the cab.

That same day, June 9, Village News and Campbell spoke with Deputies Soto and Schellenger who were called to check on Holland last week. Soto said, "The challenge is, when we come to visit him, he says, 'I'm fine' and he doesn't want any help from us. The thing is he has money for food and all that. If I were to take him on a 5150, for instance, I would be taking him against his will and I don't want to violate any rights that he has and that's why I'm trying to make phone calls and figure something out. He (Holland) said there have been people who have come and tried to help him. He doesn't want medical attention or anything like that. I'm going to continue making phone calls and see what can be done. He's probably more frustrated that we showed up. It's just a matter of getting him the help he needs without violating his rights."

Deputy Soto said, "He (Glen) said he's moving the truck by Monday."

The truck was not moved by Monday.

Wednesday, June 14, the Sheriffs showed up to the property again, and the truck was towed.

The general manager of McDonald's, Maria Gonzales said, "We called the Sheriff three times. The first time I called the non-emergency number and they may have come by after I left to go home, but the next day he was still there, so I called 9-1-1 and asked for a welfare check. They came by but didn't do anything, so I called again today. We told them we didn't see him moving in the cab.

Holland, unable to dress himself, was assisted by another homeless man named Eric, prior to having his truck towed. Deputies were able to remove the wheelchair from the back of Holland's truck so he could utilize it. Holland was then wheeled off the property.

Having Holland living in the parking lot of McDonald's was an obvious nuisance for Gonzales and her customers. Gonzales said, "My supervisor signed the No Trespassing form but I told them I didn't want him to be arrested or anything," said Gonzales. The No Trespassing form is paperwork that the Fallbrook Sheriffs have asked businesses in town to sign so that if someone is trespassing on their property, the Sheriffs have the authority to cite them, ask them to leave, or arrest them if there are drugs involved or public intoxication.

Fallbrook Sheriff's Lt. Delgado, during a Homeless Town Hall Meeting told the audience, "When you see something, make the call."

Campbell said, "On multiple occasions, I have personally observed Mr. Holland laying in his feces, with bags of dirty diapers throughout the cab of his truck and in the back with piles of trash. The stench is worse than you can imagine, bringing maggots and flies on his body and flying about the truck. I know Holland refuses services, but honestly, are we going to let a Vietnam Veteran live like this? I have contacted the VFW, Adult Protective Services, Brad Fox, San Diego Sheriff's, North County Fire, and many outreach services, including having a conversation with Lt. Delgado at the Fallbrook Sheriff's station on this matter."

While it was sad that Holland was on the street in his wheelchair, Fox sent a text message saying, "I'm sorry that you are agonizing about what to do. I think that you have done all that anybody can ask of you. Honestly, Glenn has put himself into this predicament by refusing to be hospitalized yesterday (June 13) by North County Fire and Sheriff's deputies, and refusing to be housed today by Adult Protective Services. I had him in the V.A. hospital and a skilled nursing facility six months ago. He discharged himself against medical advice. The community has pretty much done all we can do to help him, but he refuses help. Unfortunately, he has a legal right to refuse help. And so, as with many homeless, we're stuck. Thanks for trying. Your actions keep me hopeful for other homeless folks."

Finally, on June 14, with no truck to sleep in, Holland accepted the help from NCFPD first responders at about 8:30 p.m. and was transported to the hospital and is now, once again, on the road to recovery. Many people are wishing him well and hoping the best for him long-term.

Tony Campbell of AC Investigations contributed to this story.


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