The parents of a decorated veteran from the mission in Afghanistan say that after almost two weeks in an Ottawa jail, their son isn't properly being given the medication he needs to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Collin Fitzgerald, a former master corporal, received the Medal of Military Valour in 2007 for devotion to duty while under enemy fire in Afghanistan.
But since being discharged from the forces, Fitzgerald has been arrested numerous times on charges including drunk driving, assault and weapons offences.
He's been in the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre since June 7 after being charged with criminal harassment and intimidation of a police officer.
His mother, Arlene Fitzgerald, told CBC News her suicidal son hasn't been properly given the medications prescribed by his Ottawa psychiatrist.
Corrections staff are crushing and dissolving his medications in water, and when he drinks it he vomits because it gives him stomach pain, Arlene Fitzgerald said.
The Ministry of Correctional Services said inmates can sometimes hoard pills to sell, and that staff give medications in other ways to prevent that.
"Inmates who exhibit behaviour like pill hoarding or other potentially dangerous behaviours may be provided their medication in alternate forms upon the medical advice of the doctor," the ministry said in an emailed statement.
But Collin's father, Bryan Fitzgerald, said the psychiatrist has made it clear that the medications should be taken in pill form as prescribed.
"When I saw him here in the court, he looked like a caged wild animal," Arlene Fitzgerald said. "He was not my Collin. ... I wasn't this frightened when he was in Afghanistan. At least there he had comrades. He had people around him."
Bryan Fitzgerald said his son's recovery is being jeopardized.
"They hang up the phone on you, they talk to you like you're a piece of garbage," Bryan Fitzgerald said, adding that he hopes his son will get bail to resume treatment.
"He's got to get back in treatment, and if he doesn't get back in treatment, everything that's been done so far in the last few years is going down the tubes, and they're going to be starting from square one," he said.