Man Accused of Taking Online Date Hostage Claims He's Bipolar and Schizophrenic

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man charged in a hostage situation that stemmed from an online date asked a judge to place him in a mental hospital. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports. (Published Thursday, Aug 28, 2014)

    A man police said held a woman he met on a dating website hostage faced a Miami-Dade County judge Thursday and asked to be put into a mental hospital.

    James Myles told Judge Mary Pooler that he didn’t have the money to hire an attorney and said he has mental health illnesses.

    “I want to know could I get checked into a mental hospital for treatment or something? Because I haven’t brought my medication,” Myles told the judge.

    Upon further questioning, Myles disclosed that he has bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

    He was arrested after his alleged victim, Jazzima Barnes, called 911 and left her phone on so an operator could hear what was happening. Barnes told investigators she spent the weekend with Myles at his southwest Miami-Dade home, but when she tried to leave, Myles wouldn’t let her.

    Barnes told police Myles stuffed a curtain into her mouth to keep her quiet and dragged her through his home back into his bedroom. Officers said Barnes had a cut above her right ear and a bruised and swollen wrist.

    “This is a situation that really could’ve been tragic,” said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. “She could’ve been badly injured, but thankfully, these officers worked all night trying to locate her and they were successful.”

    Myles’ family said the woman’s story was not true.

    “I can guarantee that there was not a kidnapping or a situation where she was being held against her will,” said Myles’ sister, Naisha Clemons.

    “There was nothing like you’re going nowhere,” said Myles’ sister Anquetee Myles. “After he left, she was still walking through the house like nothing had happened.”

    Myles is being held without bond and will return to court in roughly a month.

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