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BY KEN KOSKY, Times Staff Writer
Nov 21, 2003
OGDEN DUNES — Frank Kendall, a successful business owner who lives in the affluent community of Ogden Dunes, still doesn’t remember much about the day he “flipped out” and got into a 4 1/2-hour standoff with police.
Now he is speaking out in order to thank the responding SWAT team members and other officers for taking him alive, and because he wants to explain why an ordinary guy suddenly snapped. The 37-year-old said he began taking two medications about eight weeks prior to the Nov. 1 standoff. He said one of the medications began reacting with his body chemistry to turn him into a completely different person.
“My chemistry wouldn’t let the one drug dissipate naturally,” Kendall said. “It was like a volcano building up to exploding.”
Kendall said he’s since stopped taking one medication and is no longer in the manic state that got him into the whole mess.
Kendall said he’s thanked the police agencies that responded to his home. He is meeting with Porter County and Portage SWAT team members this morning to present each with $1,000 checks so they can continue utilizing the top training and weapons that allowed them to take him safely.
He also sees the meeting as a chance to hear more about the day he doesn’t completely remember, and to give the officers a chance to learn from a guy who caused a standoff. Officer Ryan Jones, Porter County police spokesman, said Kendall is friends with a few police officers and, from everything he’s been told, is a nice guy who had a negative reaction to medicine.
Kendall said he’s also speaking out as part of his effort to rebuild his life and reputation. Kendall said he was experiencing a touch of depression and decided to seek medication, something he’d done once prior. He said his fiancee and some other people close to him started noticing signs something was wrong after he was on the medication for four weeks, but there were also periods of normalcy.
Now that he knows what caused his problems, he is confident they won’t happen again. Still, Kendall, an avid hunter, is putting his weapons into a safe at a location away from his home. He also has agreed with his ex-wife that, at least for now, a friend of theirs will supervise all his visits with their two children. He eventually hopes to share custody as he did previously with his ex-wife.
“She’s been understanding and she’s getting more understanding each day,” Kendall said. “She’s being very cautious, which I understand.”
Prosecutors said they are still waiting for medical and mental health records before deciding whether Kendall, who was hospitalized for several days after the standoff, should face charges. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Brian Gensel said any information about a medicine reaction is “certainly something we’ll take into account.”
Kendall said he’s got a lot of making up to do with his family, but he eventually hopes to put this chapter of his life behind him. He said his older son, who was in the home during much of the standoff, has told him he wasn’t scared and that he trusts him. He and his fiancee still plan to marry.
“It’s made our relationship even strong than ever. I love, respect and appreciate her very much,” Kendall said.
Kendall, the president of Copier Consultants Inc., said the whole standoff seems like a dream.
“I do remember I thought I was going to die,” he said. “I owe them (the police) my life. They trained and worked hard for that situation.”
Kendall hopes to make the most of his second chance.
“I hope my life will get back to normal, although I will never forget this chapter. I’ve learned a lot from this. This is another chapter in my life and I’m going to handle it the best way I possibly can with God’s help. … I need to do whatever needs to be done to make sure the people around me are comfortable.”
Ken Kosky can be reached at email@example.com or (219) 462-5151, ext. 354.