Family says firebomb suspect has history of mental illness

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 22 at 1:16 AM

FORT WORTH — The man accused of setting off Molotov cocktails at the Fort Worth office of state Sen. Wendy Davis has a history of mental problems, according to his family.

Cedric Steele is under arrest, charged with arson.

His brother, Curtis, believes he snapped.

"They must have turned him away, or didn't pay attention, must have turned him into a fit of rage," Curtis Steele said, adding that his brother started showing signs of mental illness in his 20s.

Cedric grew up in Flint, Michigan. He was an athlete, graduated from Ferris State University, even taught middle school.

His brother said he moved to Dallas in the last decade because their mother was having an operation in the city, and he never left.

"I don't know what happened, what clicked, but his mental capacity isn't there anymore," Curtis Steele said.

In recent conversations with his brother, Steele said he talked about working for the government, writing children's books, and developing weapons.

He has spent the last few years in and out of homeless shelters.

Cedric Steele reportedly went to Davis' office twice in the past week to discuss something, but the senator said staff members could tell he was not mentally stable.

Curtis Steele said he has tried to get his brother into a mental facility for years, but has been unsuccessful.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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