PHOTO Hyunsoo Leo Kim/ Virginia Pilot
Wednesday March 28, 2012
Testifying in a white jail jumpsuit, Colas told the firefighters he would do what he could to make things right. His mother, who lives in upstate New York, has offered to move in with her son in Virginia Beach until the case ends. If granted bond, the officer also agreed to see a psychiatrist and give up his weapon.
However, for the second time this month, a judge denied Colas' bond request, citing the need to further understand whether his actions were signs of a psychotic disorder or, as the officer and his attorney argue, a terrible reaction to an antibiotic.
During an earlier bond hearing, Colas said he had tried to kill the rescue workers because an antibiotic he was taking caused him to believe they were trying to hurt him.
A psychiatrist hired by his attorney testified at both hearings that the officer's behavior was likely the result of side effects of Biaxin, a brand name for clarithromycin. Colas had been taking the prescription medication to treat a respiratory infection and he said it caused him to hallucinate and suffer from insomnia.
Psychotic reactions to the antibiotic are rare, but documented in medical journals, testified Dr. Thomas Tsao, the psychiatrist retained by Colas' attorney, Moody E. "Sonny" Stallings Jr., to evaluate Colas. Tsao said he believed the officer's behavior was due to the medication. Colas said he is not on medication in jail, and Tsao said the officer has exhibited no further unusual behavior.
A neurologist who treated Colas at Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital after the crash said Wednesday he couldn't make a diagnosis without following up after the officer's hospital discharge.
"I wanted this patient to go to a psychiatric facility," Paschall told the judge.
During the hearing, family members, a friend and an instructor from the Virginia Beach Police Academy testified to Colas' character and reputation. In a written statement, Colas' parents said they pray for the full recovery of the firefighters who were injured.
"We are confident that as... facts about clarithromy-cin-related manic episodes are brought to light, that Bradley will be fully exonerated...," they wrote.
Colas, who turned 24 Wednesday, testified for a second time to tell a judge what happened.
"To all the firefighters here," he said, turning to a row of men sitting in the back of the room, "I am so sorry you had to go through this nightmare."
"I hope that in time you'll be able to forgive me," Colas said.
In the back of the room, someone nodded.
"On March 4 here in Accomack County, he snapped."
Colas remains employed by the Virginia Beach Police Department and will remain in the Accomack County Jail until the case is resolved.