Parents of the man accused of a double hit-and-run and crashing into a Monticello Wal-Mart speak out, says their son has a history of mental illness

Local News

MONTICELLO, Ark. (10/23/19) — A Louisiana man is facing multiple charges after a series of incidents transpired in Monticello, Arkansas early Sunday morning.

The crimes happened around 2 a.m. Monticello Police Department said Jemar Roberson, 32, allegedly hit one vehicle near Atwoods and minutes later, he hit another vehicle near Mazzios, injuring two victims.

Roberson’s driving spree ended at Wal Mart where he crashed into the front entrance of the store.

His parents, Robert and Dana Clark said there’s more to the story that people don’t know.

“Jemar knows no one in Arkansas,” Roberson’s father said. “What he was doing in Monticello, I feel like he was going through the same thing when he left here.”

Roberson’s parents said he was acting very strange like “Mr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” just a day before he was arrested.

“Because they’re normal one day doesn’t mean the next day is going to be normal,” Dana Clark said. “My child Monday through Friday was Jemar. Saturday morning it was not my child.”

The Clarks recalled Roberson telling them not to be surprised if someone called and told him that he was dead. They also recalled Roberson thinking someone was out to get him and that he was hearing voices.

That morning, they had never witnessed him cry. His mom described him as her “strong child”.

“He was just crying and how his friends had turned against him and he had helped so many people and he didn’t have a job and he was just tired,” his mother said.

Both said the mental instability is stemming from an injury he suffered in 7th grade. In the last game of the season, Roberson was severely injured from a tackle.

That tackle changed the rest of his life. It left him on crutches for two years following the injury. Since then, he walks around with an 18 inch metal plate on his side and one leg is shorter than the other. His parents said that took a toll on him.

With the disability, it’s been tough for him to find work in his adult years.

Roberson’s parents said they’ve been trying to get their son help for years. He’s been to the Monroe Mental Health Institution and other facilities but Mrs. Clark said he was always overlooked because of his age.

She accompanied her son to his mental evaluations. Each time, she said doctors wouldn’t take him serious and that Roberson had to admit himself that he was mentally unstable and needed help.

“It really needs to be addressed more,” Mrs. Clark said. “Because at a certain age, they want to say they’re grown but a mother knows their child.”

Now, they’re asking other parents to be aware of the signs of mental instability and take the necessary steps when they see it.

“Anyone out there that has a child that cries out for help, listen to them,” Mr. Clark said. “Don’t take it lightly because when they come to you for crying for help it’s a reason.”

Roberson is now being charged with driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, failure to maintain control and refusal of a chemical test.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark said they’re not excusing their son’s behavior neither do they want to receive special treatment. They just want him to get the help he needs.

“I want him to pay for what he’s done but I just want him to get help because jail isn’t all the time the good source for a person,” Mrs. Clark said.

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