Worthington police overreacted when they called in the SWAT team and surrounded the Velie house Feb. 10, according to Sandy Velie.

Worthington police overreacted when they called in the SWAT team and surrounded the Velie house Feb. 10, according to Sandy Velie.

She said she had called a mental-health center that morning, seeking help for her son, Ryan, 31. She was told a non-uniformed sheriff would come to the house at 661 Farrington Drive to escort Ryan for an evaluation.

Instead, Worthington police and Columbus SWAT surrounded the home, and nearby schools went into lockdown.

When Worthington police arrived, Sandy Velie exited the house. Called by Worthington, Columbus SWAT soon responded and set up around the perimeter of the yard.

Ryan Velie, after looking into his yard and seeing a SWAT officer, called Worthington police to ask what was going on in his neighborhood. He was seated at his computer.

Ryan's call was transferred to the cellphone of Worthington Police Chief James Mosic. Ryan peacefully exited the house and was transported to get the treatment his mother had sought.

The police not only reacted inappropriately but also are unfairly painting Ryan as a dangerous criminal, Sandy Velie said. In fact, she said, he is a compassionate young man whose mental-health problems were exacerbated when his father, Butch Velie, died in May 2010.

"Ryan didn't choose this any more than Butch chose his cancer," she said.

Mosic said that given Ryan's collection of weapons, including an assault rifle, and his mental state, he had no choice but to call in the SWAT team to safely remove Ryan from the house that morning.

His first responsibility is to protect the community and his officers, Mosic said.

"Our bulletproof vests will not stop the kind of bullets he possesses," Mosic said.

When his office received a call from Netcare that morning, he said, police were told Ryan had threatened to shoot. The police already knew of his collection of guns and other potentially life-threatening devices, his mental state and of a run-in with Columbus police, Mosic said.

On March 13, 2011, Ryan was arrested at his girlfriend's home, which is in Columbus but in the Worthington school district. He was in possession of a loaded AK-47 when arrested and was charged with domestic violence, assault, menacing and aggravated menacing, according to Worthington police.

After spending two days in jail, Ryan was treated at an Ohio State University hospital after a mental-health evaluation, according to police. He went home to live with his mother on March 21.

Worthington police learned about the guns and other items in the Velie home from Jeff Moody, a retired Dublin police officer who is Sandy's brother, according to Mosic.

Moody supplied photos of what police said are multiple assault-style rifles and handguns, as well as cans of gasoline stored in the garage and items that could be used for homemade explosives, including threaded steel pipes and end caps, according to Mosic.

According to police, the gasoline was removed from the home following Moody's report, and Sandy locked the guns in a safe.

Ryan eventually figured out how to pry open the safe and on the morning of Feb. 10 was carrying a gun in his waistband, police said.

The guns were not illegal, and Ryan had not been judged to be a threat to himself or anyone else, Mosic said.

"We had a lot of intelligence on this person, but not enough to make an arrest," Mosic said.

Sandy said Ryan had guns his whole life. As a boy, his hobby was target shooting, she said.

As for the reported ingredients for a pipe bomb, police were referring to old pieces of pipe that had been in the house for years, she said.

Sandy said Ryan had been very close to his father and was the child who stepped up to help during his illness. Ryan also is the kind of kid who always checks on elderly neighbors and would help anyone who needed it, she said.

Butch Velie's death might have triggered mental illness that had not been obvious earlier, she said, adding that in her research, she found that such a trauma could have that result.

Ryan began stockpiling such survivalist items as food, water and batteries after his father's death, she said.

"His mindset is that he lost his father and no one else he loves is going to die," Sandy said.

She said she tried to get treatment for her son but repeatedly was turned away. Ironically, he was not eligible because he was not a threat to himself or to anyone else, and there had been no crisis, according to Sandy.

Now there has been a crisis, and Ryan has been admitted to a state mental hospital to receive the treatment he needs, his mother said.

Sandy said she just doesn't understand why police turned her request for assistance into such an ordeal.

"I felt so violated, and it was so unnecessary what they did," she said.