Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan's brother, Mark, who allegedly attacked his father Sunday and left him unconscious – and may face more serious charges because of his subsequent death -- has been sent to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental evaluation, authorities said today.
Authorities allege that Mark Kerrigan attacked his father, Daniel, 70, in a drunken rage early Sunday morning at their Stoneham home after his father refused to let him use the phone.
Mark Kerrigan, a 45-year-old unemployed plumber, is an Army veteran who has battled substance abuse and mental illness for years, bouncing in and out of jail for violent crimes, including beating his wife. He also had a troubled relationship with his parents, who two years ago sued their son for more than $100,000 in unpaid loans and other money they say he owed them.
Kerrigan was released from prison in November after serving more than two years for punching his wife in the face and threatening her with a knife. Kerrigan and his wife, Janet, divorced in 2006. Kerrigan's parents took their eldest child back in, letting him live in the basement.
Police reports revealed that Mark Kerrigan had behaved erratically and aggressively during several tense confrontations with police in recent years, including one in which he asked police to shoot him.
In March 2005, Janet Kerrigan called police around 1 a.m. from a nearby drug store, reporting that Mark Kerrigan was throwing things from her Wilmington house into the yard. When police arrived, they saw debris strewn across the front yard, and a computer smashed in the street. When no one answered the door, police spotted Kerrigan walking down a nearby road with his dog, a large Rottweiler. When an officer approached, Kerrigan walked quickly toward him, screaming and cursing at him. He then told the dog to "sic-em."
"Despite ordering him several times to stop, he continued walking toward me while screaming profanities," a police officer said in the report. "Mr. Kerrigan was extremely upset and vocal about the police being at his house. He was breathing very heavy and clenching his teeth."
Kerrigan then walked back to his house and grabbed two large fixed-blade hunting knives. He came back to the front porch and began thrusting the knives forward in a stabbing motion, yelling, "Come on, come on." Officers ordered him several times to drop the weapons but he instead yelled at police to shoot him, saying "I want to die. Kill me please," according to the report.
Police were able to subdue Kerrigan after he angrily threw the knives to the ground. On the way to the station, he kicked the car window as he yelled, "I want to die."
In an interview with police, Janet Kerrigan said her husband had threatened to kill himself, either by himself or by having police shoot him. She said he had been drinking that night and that while he did not drink often, he was "uncontrollable and unpredictable" when he did.
In March 2006, Janet Kerrigan came to the Wilmington police station around 10 a.m. after a violent altercation with Mark Kerrigan. She told police Kerrigan had punched her in the eye and thrown her to the ground. He became angry when he woke up to find that Kerrigan's teenage daughter and her boyfriend had spent the night at the house. He said he was going out to "get a bottle" and Janet Kerrigan asked him to pick up some cigarettes.
When he returned, he quickly downed a half-pint of vodka. When Janet asked him why he drank so much so quickly, he said it was how he "dealt with his problems."
Janet threatened to leave the house, but said he took her car keys and broke them. He then went to the attic and returned with a bow and arrow. He later grabbed two knives and slashed the tires on her car. As she was leaving with her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend, Kerrigan punched her and slammed to the pavement, threatening to kill her.
Police arrested Kerrigan, who then broke the sprinkler head in his jail cell, according to the report.
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