Schizophrenia drove woman to point toy gun at police, relative says

Indira Pedemonte has bought toy guns before, relative says

MIAMI – The woman who pointed a plastic toy gun at police officers who were outside of the Miami-Dade County criminal courthouse needs medical attention and not jail, a relative said. 

Indira Pedemonte, 45, was at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Saturday morning, records show. Her daughter, who asked not to be identified, said she has been suffering from Schizophrenia for about a decade.

The incurable brain disorder affecting about one percent of Americans causes patients to hear and see things that aren't real, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Pedemonte has bought toy guns before and has been hospitalized before, her daughter said. She is undergoing psychiatric treatment, but the medications that she was prescribed haven't worked, she said. Aside from medication, experts recommend psychological and social therapy. 

Before police officers pushed Pedemonte to the ground, a hot dog vendor working outside of the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Miami said Pedemonte pointed the gun at him too. 

Police officers ordered Pedemonte to put her gun down. After she dropped it, about half a dozen officers moved to subdue her. Police officer Yolanda Everett pulled out her Taser gun. The sound of the Taser gun is clear on video, but police said it didn't strike Pedemonte. 

Pedemonte was facing a charge of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. Her bond was set at $7,500. 

Local10.com digital reporter/producer Andrea Torres contributed to this story. 

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