'Jackass' alum Bam Margera placed on 5150 hold amid addiction struggles

Actor Bam Margera has been placed under psychiatric evaluation as he struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.
Actor Bam Margera has been placed under psychiatric evaluation as he struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. (Photo: Getty Images)

Bam Margera has been placed on a 5150 hold after his family feared for his life.

According to TMZ, police found the Jackass star at Trejo's Tacos in Los Angeles on Sunday, and due to erratic speech, behavior and alleged suicidal threats, authorities determined he should be taken to a mental health facility. Under California law, if a person is considered a danger to themselves or others, they can be involuntarily held for psychiatric assessment and crisis intervention for up to 72 hours. It's unclear if Bam is still at the facility. Yahoo Entertainment reached out to his attorney for more information.

Bam traveled to L.A. last week in an attempt to see his his 5-year-old son, Phoenix, whom he shares with estranged wife, Nikki Margera. Bam claimed on social media that Nikki has prevented him from seeing Phoenix for months amid his addiction struggles.

"Nikki continues to pray for Bam's safety, sobriety and mental health stability. She has reached out to Bam to try to set up FaceTime calls for their son, but Bam has either not responded, or responded in a denigrating fashion," Nikki's attorney, David Glass, tells Yahoo on Monday. "Nikki continues to place their son, Phoenix's best interests first, and hopes that Bam gets the help he needs so he can be stable, consistent, and able to be a parent to their son. Nikki joins Bam's family's calls for Bam to get inpatient treatment for mental health and addictions."

Here's what's going on.

Bam's brother pleaded for the public's help earlier on Sunday

Jess Margera asked people in the L.A. area to contact police "immediately" if they knew Bam's whereabouts. The pro skateboarder has been on a downward spiral for months as he struggles with drug and alcohol addition amid his divorce from Nikki, who will not allow Bam to see Phoenix until he enters treatment.

Jess revealed hours later that his brother was found safe, but the situation sounded dire. "He texted me and my parents at 6 am this morning saying he loves us he loves Phoenix and he is 'at peace' and that he took enough pills to stop his heart. And some really heartbreaking dark s***," Jess tweeted. "Thanks to everyone who shared info today."

What is a 5150 hold?

The term has been used in the media as Amanda Bynes, Britney Spears and Kanye West are among the stars who've been placed under psychiatric observation. The number pertains to Code 5150, the section of the State of California's Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) on the "Detention of Mentally Disordered Persons for Evaluation and Treatment."

The LAPD likely called in its mental evaluation unit to determine if Bam met the criteria for a 5150 hold. If he was suicidal, as text messages suggested, Bam would not be placed under arrest, but taken to a facility for an examination by mental health professions. But just because he was placed for psychiatric evaluation on Sunday doesn't mean he's still there. The law stipulates that his care team must break the hold when the patient no longer meets criteria for involuntary hospitalization. So, if a person is on a 72-hour hold, they may be released earlier. Alternatively, a 5150 can be extended to a 5250, which is a 14-day hold.

Bam posted an alarming rant last week

The former MTV star threatened to smoke crack until he's dead unless Nikki allows him to see their son. In a now-deleted post, Bam claimed he hadn't seen Phoenix in two months. (Nikki filed for divorce in February and is seeking legal and physical custody.)

"I'm going to smoke crack with the bums down at the f***ing boardwalk until I'm dead unless you deliver me f***ing Phoenix. Get to work Nikki, or anyone that wants to help. I want Phoenix," Bam declared last Thursday. He also blamed his family for "driving" him "to drink."

Nikki's attorney told TMZ at the time, "Unfortunately, that’s not how the addictions work. People's behavior does not drive others to drink. This is a typical defense mechanism, and it shows that Bam may not have learned much in his past addiction's treatment. You have to take responsibility for your own actions. Nikki sincerely hopes that Bam can first achieve and then maintain sobriety, for his own good, and for the good of their son."

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Referral Helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357)