A Missouri mother confronted her son's alleged drug dealer and allegedly attacked him with an aluminum baseball bat after her efforts to help her heroin-using son failed.
Sherrie Gavan of Imperial, Mo., had switched her 18-year-old son's school, sent him to live with relatives, had him tested for drugs frequently and confiscated his cellphone, but noting stopped him from using heroin for long, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Her last resort, she said, was to confront her son's alleged drug dealer, Joshua Loyd, 21.
"Naturally, my mother's instinct took over and I got paranoid," she told the Post-Dispatch. "I had no idea what to do because we had asked the father to please keep his son [Loyd] away from us, which obviously did not get relayed."
Gavan said she spoke to Loyd in his driveway in December and said he had received her message from his father and that he knew who she was.
"[Loyd] went to his friend's car that he was driving to get something out and that's when I turned around and got the baseball bat out of my jeep because I was scared," she told the website. "I was paranoid. I did not know what was going on.
"He started coming towards me so I made the misjudgment of hitting him with the baseball bat."
When he came toward her again, Gavan said, she told him to stay away from her and her family.
"I don't know if I can honestly say that what I did was the right thing, but it was the only thing that I could do at the moment," she said.
Gavan does not believe that her blows could have left him with more than a bruise, but he reported her to police and she is being prosecuted by the state.
A representative from the Jefferson County Prosecutor's Office said they could not comment on an ongoing case. Gavan was arraigned Monday on a charge of third-degree assault in Jefferson County Circuit Court.
A handful of supporters stood outside the courthouse with signs that read, "Drug Dealer=Addicted Son, Addicted Son=Angry Mom, Angry Mom=…" and Heroin Dealers Kill!"
A Facebook page called "Stand with Sherrie Gavan" created anonymously has more than 900 supporters who have left hundreds of supportive messages for Gavan.
One man wrote: "Thank you Sherrie, for being so brave, I lost my son to this stupid drug on 12/23/2010, and applaud you and will stand up for you wholeheartedly!!!!!"
"Sherrie, I am not a rich person, hell I have two jobs, but what you are doing is right!! You DID the right thing! I will be happy to send you what I can for your defense," a woman wrote. "Moms Rock! And you are a rockin' Mom!!!!
Gavan responded to the messages with her own messages on the page:
"Thank you all! I never thought I would find this kind of support just by telling my story. I am in tears reading of those who have lost loved ones. I appreciate everyone's support," she wrote. "The more people that know how widespread the problem is with this once-you-try-if-you're-addicted drug, the more we can fight it. Until it hit home, I knew nothing about it or about how easy it is to get. Knowing the word is getting out and so many people care melts my heart. Thank all of you."
Neither Gavan nor the Loyd family responded to requests for comment from ABCNews.com.