In-Law Threats: Chris and Rebecca

Assault with an Automobile?

"My mother-in-law tried to run me over," says Chris. "She was pissed. I was definitely scared for my life." 

 

Cathy says the accusations made against her are shocking. "I was not trying to run Chris over. I left my house. I was right about this curve, and I saw Chris walking in the grass," she explains. "He's coming toward me, and he's screaming at me. I was afraid of Chris." She says she turned to get away from him, and the car went into a spin.

 

Chris says that Cathy cussed him out and drove away, but soon returned. "She turned around, sped back, put it in reverse and gunned it coming at me," he recalls. "She immediately started

doing donuts around me trying to run me over. I had to jump across a ditch on the other side of the road to get away from her. She swerved into the ditch to try to hit me." He called 911.

 

Rebecca, Chris's wife and Cathy's daughter, witnessed the scary encounter. "I went outside and I saw my mother trying to run over my husband," she says. "My first response was to make sure the ki

ds get inside so they don't have to see this."

 

Cathy says the car spun, but not on purpose.

 

After this incident, Chris filed charges against Cathy. "The drastic move to press charges is the only leverage we have in order to make sure that she takes care of herself mentally," he explains. "My mother-in-law is delusional."

 

Cathy disagrees. "I don't think I'm insane. I think this shocking accusation is insane," she says. "Chris has told my son that if I say, ‘I'm sorry,' then he'll drop the charges. Chris, I did not try and kill you. I did not try and hurt you."

Cathy's family is not happy about the aggravated assault charges. "My father and brother are mad that we're not dropping this. They want us to just let it go. I can't do that," says Rebecca.

 

Dr. Phil explains that Cathy was initially supposed to be on the show, and she even cooperated with the producers. But then all of a sudden she didn't return phone calls. "Do you know anything about why she fell out of the process?" he asks Rebecca.


"No, I don't know. I haven't spoken with her in a while," she says.

"You guys are in hiding from her. What does that mean?" Dr. Phil asks.

"I don't want to let her know

where I'm at right now," Rebecca says.

 

"You're having trouble family-wise because you're prosecuting your mother," Dr. Phil says.

"Yes," Rebecca says. "They think I'm being harsh. It's tough love. I want to see her get help in other ways than that, but it's something I think I have to do."

Dr. Phil addresses Chris. "You're saying that you really don't want to drop the charges unless she apologizes and makes restitution," he says.

"First thing is that I want to make sure she gets the help she needs," Chris says. "She's got some sort of problem that's causing her to do this. It's not really her. This is not my mother-in-law."

After Dr. Phil reads a list of demands Chris and Rebecca want from Cathy, including financial restitution, Chris defends himself. "Dr. Phil, this is not about money, and I don't want to make this about money. I could care less about any restitution as far as financially," he explains. "The reason I wanted a hand-written letter is because I wanted her to go through the process of dealing with what she's caused for her family, especially her daughter."

"That's not going to help," Dr. Phil tells them.

Dr. Phil shares his thoughts. "Something's happened with your mom. You both say that you think that she's had a mental, emotional shift of some sort," he says, noting that they have a legitimat
e concern. "She clearly has a problem with impulse control. I think she can be as rational as she was on that video, and I totally understand that she can go Jekyll-Hyde on you and a matter of seconds later, be completely different."

Chris and Rebecca agree.

"I can argue for what you've done in calling the police and pressing charges, but here's what happens. When you call the police, when you file charges, you've invited the government into your life," he tells Chris and Rebecca. "The charges were brought by the District Attorney, and they can proceed with that whether y'all like it or whether you don't, whether you testify or whether you don't. With the statements that you've made, they can prosecute her to the full extent of the law." He explains that the quality of care Cathy would get through the penal system is not very good. She would probably be put on probation if she's found guilty.

"We tried to get the authorities involved with getting her help, initially," Chris says. "We've hit dead-end after dead-end after dead-end."

Dr. Phil offers his advice. "Very likely, your mother has experienced a neurological event. She may have had a minor stroke sometime back in the silent part of her brain that is stopping circulation," he explains. "She may have Pick's Disease. She may have some type of early forms of Alzheimer's, where you begin to see erratic swings in behavior, where it's totally out of character." He points out that Cathy is a nurse and even saved the life of one of Rebecca's children.

 

Dr. Phil continues, noting that Cathy is the same person but she just may have had a shift in her brain. "She won't get help for that in jail," Dr. Phil says.

He suggests that Chris and Rebecca work with the District Attorney and maybe even hire an outside criminal lawyer to try to get some type of court-ordered evaluation and intervention. "She probably doesn't need to be in a psychiatric facility. She certainly doesn't need to be in jail, but she does need a neurological evaluation to find out if something's going on in her brain that has stopped her impulse control, stopped her reasoning centers and shut down her inhibition center, where she acts on rages and things of that nature," he says. "If you can get her to do it, I have made arrangements for her to have a broad-based neurological assessment by top neurologists in the country." 

 

Dr. Phil says that he will also work with the District Attorney to explain what he thinks is going on neurologically, and they can provide the brain tests if she has them done. "With proper medication and treatment, she can be fine," Dr. Phil says. "What you want is safety, not revenge."

Chris and Rebecca agree.