Broward Politics: Can We Ever Stop Stalking By The Mentally Ill?




The arrest of a 59-year-old mentally ill man this week on charges that he threatened State Attorney Mike Satz is no surprise to some legal types.

Mark Robert Hillstrom, who is described as bi-polar and confrontational, is familiar to some courthouse folks.  He has stalked a few over the years.

It has been a long fall for Hillstrom.  He once was a well-known money manager, handing some finances for many well-known business and political figures.

“This guy was in the elite of Broward circles at one time.  He just crashed and burned,” one lawyer said.

Hillstrom has been diagnosed but apparently fails to take his meds. And Hillstrom is an alcoholic, which complicates his problems.

Long before Hillstrom’s arrest, at least one downtown Fort Lauderdale law office warned the receptionist to call police if Hillstrom showed up.

 “He has a schtick,” one lawyer told “Once you came up on his radar, he just called and called and called.  Then he would show up at your door.

“Get him in court and he pulled a Fred Sanford* routine.  He would fall on the floor like he was having a heart attack.”

This lawyer said restraining orders have not worked against Hillstrom because he is mentally ill.

This lawyer, needless to say, asked his name not be used so he doesn’t have Hillstrom stalking him.

Hillstrom’s case points up an obvious problem, perhaps not solvable, of mentally ill patients failing to take their meds.

Patients can’t be forced to take them regardless of the effect on society.

If they are harassing someone or stalking him, there is little the court can do to stop it.  Because they are mentally ill, they ignore court orders.

What about those few mentally ill homeless folks who shout and scream at passerbys  on the street, most notably in cities like New York? We can’t lock up every homeless person.

One lawyer e-mailed  that Florida has a law which allows “involuntary outpatient commitment in that if certain statuatory requirements are met, I think two criminal arrests, a court can order the person picked up, hospitalized and forcibly medicated and or held until they agree.  As with many well intentioned or politically motivated laws, it was not funded.  Therefore there are no medication police, although there could be.”

Not funded, as the portion of the e-mail I underlined alleges.   That’s typical.

Or as two professors at the University of South Florida wrote in, “An involuntary outpatient commitment law became effective in Florida in January 2005. However, only 71 orders for outpatient commitment have been issued in three years, even though during that period 41,997 adults had two or more 72-hour involuntary emergency examinations under Florida’s civil commitment law….(the law) appear to be virtually ignored, despite the fanfare accompanying their enactment.”


Hillstrom is temporarily behind bars.  My bet is once out of jail, he’ll go right back to stalking.

So what can society do?

(*Fred Sanford is a fictional television character played by Red Foxx in the 1970s.  When things weren’t going his way, Sanford often would clutch his chest and proclaim, “This is the big one.”)





Parkland parents hoping to sink School Board member Abby Freedman’s re-election still don’t have a candidate

Parents dislike the way the capricious Friedman threatened to transfer their kids to other schools.

But to get rid of her, angry parents need an alternative.

Robert “Bob” Mayersohn is making noise about running, like recently at the Margate Democratic Club.  But he lost in 2012 to Freedman and little has changed.

Freedman is an attractive woman.


Female School Board candidates may have an advantage when running against men in Broward.  That may be one reason why all of the School Board is female and the Board has been dominated by females for years.

Freedman spent roughly $112,000 of her own or her husband’s money last time around. She took no donations.

Anyone who wants to beat her will have to find a similar candidate: An attractive female who has enough money to self-fund her campaign.

By the way, Freedman has not opened her re-election campaign yet.




Is County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs’ campaign for the state House just a stepping-stone to run for state Senate?

Several pols tell me that Jacobs wants the Coconut-Creek based state House seat in 2014 as a platform to run in 2016 for Parkland Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring’s west Broward seat. Ring is term limited in 2016.

Jacobs, of course, would deny this.

At least one other pol already running for Ring’s seat is warily watching Jacobs.  State Rep. Jim Waldman, D-Coconut Creek, told last month that he is keeping an eye on Jacobs.

Waldman said he would like Jacobs’ endorsement.

I would not count on it.

16 Responses to “Broward Politics: Can We Ever Stop Stalking By The Mentally Ill?”

  1. Finally, hopefully says:

    For years in his other cases I believe his kids and ex wife (who was a victim as well) refused to support Hillstrom being imprisioned. I understand the ex wife not wanting to do that to the father of her children. At least this time the ex and the kids are not involved in sentcing and hopefully Satz will push for the max on this guy.

  2. Freidman Will Reign says:

    Freidman is unbeatable. She comes on strong but has represented our district well. Just in an honest direct way which is refreshing.
    Mayersohn has already been a two time loser not even making it out of the primary. He should really move on.

  3. Broward says:

    Abbey Friedman is a liar and can care less about anybody, except herself. She was a tyrant during her last campaign and treats people like they don’t matter and like crap. I will tell everyone in the District not to vote for her ever again. I helped her campaign in 2012 and she has done everything she pledged bot to do. This whole school issue is not what we in Parkland want and she continues to ignore the peoples wishes and the ones that put her in office to begin with. So much for all the Pentagon experience she so bragged about. The people downtown at the School Board totally dislike her and are hoping she will not run or somebody will run against her. ANYBODY BUT ABBEY IN 2016!!!!!

  4. @Broward says:

    Wow are you in the know!
    1. Abby is up for election in 2014 not 2016
    2. The Parkland community through the “whole school issue” proved to be the self important nouveau riche racists they are. I even saw on BECON that a resident, some prominent Dr in the community, stated that he moved to Parkland so that his kids wouldn’t have to go to school with black kids. Classy.
    3. There is no one, AND I MEAN NO ONE, from your community that will be willing to put up the coin or time commitment to run for school board.


    I don’t see where I wrote she is up in 2016.

  5. @ Broward says:

    Not you Buddy. Post #3

  6. modeengunch says:

    My kids went to school with Hillstrom’s back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He seemed like a jerk to my wife and me. His wife seemed to be intimidated by him. Kids were nice. They were living the good life. He obviously had problems which became larger over the years. I feel for his daughter and son.

  7. Coral Springs Resident says:

    Abby Friedman has lied to her constituents and her fellow school board members.

    Besides stalking developers’ offices for her own fake analysis of the residents that are moving into the area (and lying about it), she’s engaged in absolutely offensive behavior during meetings with the public and her fellow school board members.

    After being called out by Robin Bartleman at a school board workshop about reports being shared that Abby stated her fellow school board members would not support additional student stations being built in parkland, Abby Freedman stated on camera that she “never” said such a thing.

    Yet mere days before that, she said to a room of approximately 500 parents that she was “only one vote” for more student stations in Parkland, and that the other school board members would not support more seats being built when they had empty seats in their own schools.

    She also told numerous parents (both in person and by phone) that she doesn’t care about people moving into Parkland now since they didn’t vote for her in 2012.

    Between her “thuggish” behavior (using your adjective from an earlier article Buddy) and the rumors of FDLE investigations into her conduct, I think that there are plenty of people that will support any qualified candidate running against her. After having alienated nearly every elected official from District 4 that supported her in 2012, I’d also suspect there will be a fair amount of money behind the credible candidate(s) willing to run against her.

    Abby Freedman is a liar, both in her personal and professional dealings, but also on her resume and qualifications. She continues the sad recent tradition of school board members giving the Board a bad name.

    Hopefully, if the rumors of FDLE investigations about her are true, we won’t have to worry about voting her out of office at all as she’ll be dealing with the legal ramificatons of her own wrongheaded behavior.

  8. Irony says:

    It’s a bit ironic that this article about trying to stop ‘stalking by the mentally ill’ ends with a piece on Abby Freedman.

    Given that her behavior indicates (in my opinion) a lack of sanity of late — between her ranting and raving and screaming at people in person and on the phone, comments that she works 23 hours a day 7 days a week (yet doesn’t show up to the office for days on end), she is close to needing (again, in my opinion) to spend a few days (or longer) in a padded room with Hillstrom.

  9. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:


    Great issue regarding mental health concerns. I think we can and must do a better at helping the mentally ill in ways that protect them and others, however as you say we’re not doing that now for lack of funding. This is a very valid concern that requires serious attention.

    Without a doubt, there are many mentally ill persons who, if untreated, would present a risk to themselves or others. Equally true, many of these individuals pose no such risk under treatment.

    Protective interventions at present are insufficient to keep pace with the number of mentally ill, untreated persons in our society.

    There are private mental health providers in the private sector who do a great job in return for payment. For those who cannot pay because of poverty, this not a problem that the private sector has been able or willing to absorb and resolve. While always helpful, the poverty mental health caseload is beyond the ability of charitable giving to resolve.

    When society has a need that must be addressed which the private sector and individuals cannot satisfy themselves, at all or as well, then that need falls into the category of things that society may call upon government to do for them. Historically, that’s pretty much how the scope of work government performs has come to be defined.

    It is why, for example, government has funded mental health services for many decades.

    The question then arises — how big is the problem and how much can we devote to it while still meeting society’s other pressing obligations. That’s is where the work in government appropriations begins in earnest.

    Florida has many talented human services organizations and professionals. Yet overall human service programming statewide lags behind other states, particularly with regard to providing protective mental health services offered alone or in combination with substance abuse treatment. That’s a sentiment that can be shared with many other human service categoris, such as services for youth, seniors, homeless or chronically ill.

    The lag in dealing with those needs, caused by lack of funding or coordinated care, introduces risk to our population. We see it daily though many of us try to shut the sight of it out. It’s there. As we drive around Broward we are reminded daily that there’s significant human services needs in our community.

    Florida is the 3rd largest state in America and we need to start thinking a little differently than we used to. We can’t afford this constant political infighting as we have important and serious work to perform for our state.

    We must re-examine how we prioritize state spending in the human services field. That analysis is long overdue but it cannot occur in political and ideological gridlock. A mechanism must first be put in place that allows for an honest and objective, non-partisan review of those questions.

    I personally believe it should be a SWOT analysis — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. From there we can prioritize efforts to ensure we cover as many bases as is reasonable. Whatever means chosen, the analysis needs to happen because we’re seeing more and more gaps in the safety net every day.



  10. Independent says:

    It doesn’t make a difference what Jacobs does, Waldman already has my support.

  11. no way says:

    Jacobs will have to get through Ryan first!

  12. Waldman seat says:

    @Independent-if you are an independent you won’t get to vote in the Democratic primary, so Waldman doesn’t care if he has your support.

    @no way-who is Ryan?

    Jacobs is using everything as a stepping stone to something else. She either wants to be in DC or on the Food Network. She will be miserable in Tallahassee. You can’t go from being “Mayor” of one of the largest counties to being a Dem in Tallahassee where you have no say.

  13. Guess who says:

    Waldman wants Jacobs endorsement after he refused to at least co-endorse her along with buffoon Perman?

  14. ziggy says:

    buddy as to hilstrom, I used to post under my name till this character started threatening me on the blogs with physical harm. I never met this nut case but its clear he has a problem and should be removed from society one way or another. I ve seen him threaten others in the same fashion.

  15. Independent says:

    Independent doesn’t mean I am registered as an Independent. It only means I vote in the general election for the best person irrespective of party.

    Also, support can mean a lot more than just a vote. It can also mean $$$, volunteering and/or endorsements, and that is something those running for office want.

    Finally, Ryan is the Mayor of Sunrise, and from what I have heard, he is being groomed to be the next State Senator after Waldman.

  16. Ha Ha Ha says:

    I can just see Mike Ryan’s first Senate proposals already…

    * Expand Red Light Cameras to every intersection & every lane, also have them track the pedestrian lanes & robo-ticket anyone who steps onto or over the lines

    * Empower police everywhere to entrap everyone & confiscate all their assets

    * $10,000 fines for burnt-out headlights, tail lights, and turn signals