NewsLocal NewsI-Team Investigations


Rehab patient steals gun, shoots self during attempted burglary

Man wandered away from treatment center
Posted at 7:47 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 19:47:28-05

A rehab facility in Riverview is facing more trouble.

Our I-Team earlier this week revealed big security concerns involving the River Oaks Residential Drug Treatment center.


Drug treatment center had more than 400 calls to 911 in 2 years

I-Team: Drug rehab center bills patient's insurance nearly $1,000 a day for drug testing

The latest incident involves a runaway patient and a gun, and it has left neighbors on edge.     

“We don’t know who comes and goes. We don’t know who lives there. We don’t know what issues they might have,” said Riverglen Subdivision resident Ray Serrano.

He says the rehab has caused trouble since it opened two years ago.

“More and more situations are happening in our community and we need that to stop,” Serrano said.

River Oaks is next to a neighborhood park.  Neighbors say it’s easy for patients to climb over a fence and scale a wall to get into the gated neighborhood.

That’s what neighbors believe happened Monday night.

Reports say a 23-year-old River Oaks patient broke into several vehicles.

“I noticed a light in the driveway, a flashlight kind of light and thought it was my neighbor,” said one neighbor.

She didn’t know the man had been in her driveway until she heard a gunshot.

“I heard a bang, and I said 'what is going on?'” she said.

While trying to break into a home, a homeowner confronted the patient with a gun and told him he was calling police.

That homeowner didn't want to be on camera, but confirmed that the patient then pulled out a gun he stole from a car and shot himself in the face.

Deputies say he is now in critical condition.

We previously reported about concerns from the rehab's former security director.

“We don't have any fences. No fences. They can come and go as they please,” said former River Oaks Security and Transportation Director Mike Isom.

“It is very frustrating,” he said.

Records show there were 433 calls to 9-1-1 from River Oaks in less than two years... most after regular business hours.

The company didn't respond to our request for a comment about the latest incident, but previously said the rehab meets or exceeds all staffing requirements.

“Who’s watching them? These folks are not in the best of health or condition mentally and they need to monitor that. It’s super important,” Serrano said.

“The staff or security needs to change there,” said another neighbor.

If you have had issues with a residential drug treatment center in Tampa Bay, please contact us at