Funeral for Lansing Firefighter a Sad Reminder of what Mental Illness can cause

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EAST LANSING, MI – Funeral services for Lansing firefighter Dennis Rodeman, 35-years-old, began at 10am on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.Dennis Rodeman funeral service

Today we remember and honor Dennis Rodeman.

Hundreds from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and from other parts of the United States filled the arena at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center in East Lansing to honor and celebrate the life of a man who was taken to soon.

Dennis Rodeman was near the intersection of Cedar Street and Jolly Road Wednesday, September 9th, 2015, collecting donations as part of a Fill the Boot campaign for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

It is believed that Grant Taylor, 22-years-old, from Lansing, exchanged words with Rodeman while the firefighter stood in a center turn lane collecting donations for the charity.  Taylor then drove off southbound on Cedar Street.  He then turned his truck around in a parking lot and drove northbound to the intersection where he had encountered the firefighter. He struck Dennis at a speed near 35 miles per hour causing fatal injuries. Rodeman was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing. Doctors said serious brain injuries led to the young man’s death.

Grant Taylor, Lansing, MI - Charged with murder of Firefighter Dennis Rodeman

Grant Taylor, Lansing, MI – Charged with murder of Firefighter Dennis Rodeman

Taylor stated to police that he struck the firefighter with his pickup truck after he became angry with those who were collecting donations and slowing down traffic, according to court records.

Grant Taylor has a documented history of mental illness.  Karen Taylor, the mother of Grant, had petitioned the Ingham County Probate Court to involuntarily hospitalize her son for mental health reasons twice since 2013.  Taylor had been diagnosed with psychosis and bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses.

The only real person who can understand the actions that led up to and caused the death of firefighter Rodeman is Grant Taylor.  For those who have never suffered from any type of mental illness, it is very difficult to understand why anyone would run down a person with a vehicle.  That is not to say that Taylor’s actions were just because they certainly are not.  It is to say that we as a society are not taking proper precautions and care for those who do have serious mental health issues.  Grant Taylor had stopped taking his medications because he did not like the way that they made him feel.

Grant Taylor now sits in jail, without bond, and is charged with murder, failing to stop at the scene of a personal injury accident causing death and two counts of third degree fleeing and eluding in the senseless death of Dennis Rodeman. He faces up to life in prison if convicted.

MI Headlines thanks Firefighter Rodeman for his military service and for his service in civilian life as a fireman to the City of Lansing.  God rest your soul.

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