ATLANTA - Two psychologists who will treat the Interstate 85 arson suspect said the 39-year-old man suffers from addiction and mental health issues.
Mr. Original Michael owns the treatment house where Basil Eleby is now living. He said it is a single family home in a residential area with nine other clients and three staffers. The Fulton County judge presiding over Eleby's arson case did not want the address publicized.
Atlanta police arrested Eleby for single-handedly starting the fire on I-85 last month. The blaze and subsequent bridge collapse have led to a major disruption in Atlanta traffic.
“My job is to help him to feel normal again. We had to get away from all the cameras, the sensation of what was going on,” the psychologist said. “Just sit down and have a good meal and an honest talk, how are you feeling?”
Mr. Eleby is making a drastic transition from sleeping in this car to now having a bed, bathroom, and hot meals every day. The judge ordered that the location of Eleby’s recovery house remain confidential, but Mr. Michael said it was a single family home with about ten clients, three staffers, and lots of house rules.
“He can't leave the facility without someone-a staffer going with him,” Mr. Michael said.
FOX 5’s Aungelique Proctor met the psychotherapist who will be working daily with Eleby. Dr. Walter Brooks has treated many celebrity entertainers, NBA and NFL players. He said Mr. Eleby will be getting about $10,000 worth of services.
“We will be helping him with coping skills for his mental health, have him see the psychiatrist, medication management. We'll help him with coping skills for his addiction. He has what we call a co-occurrence disorder, addiction, and mental health,” Dr. Brooks consulted.
The psychologist said Eleby will likely need six months of intense treatment to see an improvement and be ready for a job. The judge ordered Eleby to be drug tested at the treatment home twice a week. The clinicians said what they are doing is totally separate from the criminal case Eleby faces.