Teen In Face-Biting Slayings Definitely Had Mental Problems, Father Said

A teenager who allegedly killed a Florida couple and then bit the face of one victim may have been struggling with mental health issues prior to the horrific attack, his father says.

When Wade Harrouff was asked as to whether his son Austin suffered from some type of “psychotic episode,” he responded in agreement.

“That’s what I believe,” as The Washington Post shares.

“He’s had the symptoms for about two weeks prior,” he said during an episode of “Dr. Phil”. I just thought he’d snap out of it. He went from a happy person to, he can’t sleep, pacing the floors. He could barely work, he was tired. There’s no question that he had mental problems.”

Nineteen-year-old Austin Harrouff is suspected in the deaths of John Stevens and Michelle Mischcon, who were killed in their Florida home in the middle of last month. Another victim that was a neighbor who heard the attack and tried to help the couple was also injured.

After the attack, the local sheriff stated that he believed Harrouff might have been on synthetic drugs at the time of the attack. Wade Harrouff shared in an earlier televised interview that during the night of the attacks, his son left during dinner at a restaurant to use the restroom but did not return. His mother shared that Austin went to her house, and she noticed strange and erratic behavior. Austin apparently grabbed a bottle of cooking oil and tried to drink it.

“She stopped him, and he poured it in a bowl, and put Parmesan cheese in it, And he ate that.”

Wade Harrouff said before he left the table that night, Austin had been “real quiet” but was interacting, even though not very talkative. When he returned to the restaurant, his father said he grabbed his son by the shirt and asked, “What is wrong with you?”

“You could see in his eyes, he was totally embarrassed, and he reared back.”

Austin left after that exchange. After the attacks, Austin was hospitalized and was to be charged after he was medically released. Yet, as Wade Harrouff said, his son was “not doing well.” He told media that Austin, who was still hospitalized cannot talk due to dealing with pneumonia.

When Wade Harrouff appeared on Dr. Phil, he told the host that nurses said his son had a burned esophagus.

“It’s very puzzling, because I read all the things about how they pulled him off the people that he killed and all this and that, but he was poisoned. He had an inflamed esophagus, stomach. His metabolites were way out of whack, and he almost died. I don’t know what happened. The biggest question I have is — where did the poisoning come from? How did he get poisoned? I can’t figure it out.”

Martin County sheriff William Snyder clarified what likely caused the burn of the esophagus, adding Austin had ingested “caustic fluid.” Snyder shared that the deputy who responded to the scene found a shirtless Austin atop one victim “biting and removing pieces of the victim’s face with his teeth.”

The sheriff went on to state that Austin was also exhibiting abnormal levels of strength after a number of officers attempted to detain him and he was fighting them off. The sheriff then went on to make his assumption that Austin was high on the synthetic drug flakka and perhaps was experiencing an overdose.

“He exhibited every indication of a flakka overdose — abnormal strength, peeling off some of his clothes, making guttural sounds, fighting with law enforcement, not stopping when a tremendous amount of energy was expended by my deputies.”

[Photo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Austin-Harrouff-324514301222947/?fref=ts]

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