Hickman Family Lawyers Up; Alegent Creighton Comments on Suspect Walk Away


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Hickman Family Lawyers Up; Alegent Creighton Comments on Suspect Walk Away

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Jul 16, 2014

Omaha, NE - "When they tell somebody that they shouldn't have to worry about it, that they'll do their part. Is this their part?"

This is Dale's sister, Jennifer Hickman, one day after police believe her brother stabbed her in the face. Hours before the Hickmans called police, saying Dale had threatened to kill them with a bow and arrow.

Douglas County Deputy Attorney Brenda Beadle told Action 3 News police can take someone away if officers believe that person poses a threat.

"If the police in their judgment deem that person to be mentally ill and dangerous and it's supported by you know, whatever they see is going on or the family may give them some history, they will take that person to a hospital and then they will be taken there for an evaluation by a psychiatrist."

After responding to the Hickman home Saturday night, police said they did take Dale into Emergency Protective Custody. They say they dropped him off at the Alegent Creighton ER just before midnight because Dale showed signs of mental illness and made suicidal threats.

"They were supposed to take my brother, and keep him", said Jennifer.

In a release Omaha police said at 4:30 Sunday morning the hospital called 911. Dale had walked out on his own.

"The police can take them to the hospital, and once they're there, then they're turned over to the hospital. The hospital then, the police are out of the picture, the hospital then keeps them there."

The hospital would not answer questions Wednesday, but released this statement:

"Alegent Creighton Health takes all patient safety and security issues very seriously. Such matters are always evaluated and addressed in accordance with hospital policies and procedures and all pertinent laws and regulations."

Omaha police would not comment either, but State Senator Brad Ashford did.

"The biggest public safety issue we have in our country today is mental health."

Ashford has been an advocate for changing the Nebraska mental health system. He said Wednesday the lack of mental health care and facilities puts stress on the system and the community.

"When there is a mental health issue involved in a traumatic act, or traumatic activity in the public, there needs to be a clear road map as to how to deal with that."

Hickman and his father Walter are still in the hospital in bad shape. Prosecutors have not filed any charges yet against Dale Hickman.

A Hickman family member tells us they've hired a lawyer.