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BREAKING: Chief Justice Hospitalized After Seizure


WASHINGTON Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his summer home in Maine on Monday, causing a fall that resulted in minor scrapes, Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said. He will remain in a hospital in Maine overnight.

Doctors called Monday’s incident “a benign idiopathic seizure,” Arberg said. The White House described the January 1993 episode as an “isolated, idiosyncratic seizure.” Both descriptions indicate that doctors could not determine the seizure’s cause or link it to another medical condition. For example, doctors would have quickly ruled out simple explanations such as dehydration or low blood sugar.

Roberts, who was named to the court in 2005, has led the Supreme Court to a more conservative stance, along with Justice Samuel Alito, who won confirmation in early 2006. Conservative causes have won twice as often as they lost on the Roberts-led court. The 2006-07 term brought limits on abortion rights, restrictions on school integration programs and greater freedom for political advertising.

Medical opinions differed on just what Roberts’ seizures mean. Someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is determined to have epilepsy, said Dr. Marc Schlosberg, a neurologist at Washington Hospital Center, who is not involved in the Roberts’ case.

epilepsy2.jpgASSOCIATED PRESS: Shazam!
PROTIP: In most cases, the proper emergency response to a generalized tonic-clonic epileptic seizure is simply to prevent the patient from self-injury by moving him or her away from sharp edges, placing something soft beneath the head, and carefully rolling the person into the recovery position to avoid asphyxiation. In some cases the person may seem to start snoring loudly following a seizure, before coming to. This merely indicates that the person is beginning to breathe properly and does not mean he or she is suffocating. Should the person regurgitate, the material should be allowed to drip out the side of the person’s mouth by itself. If a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes, or if the seizures begin coming in ‘waves’ one after the other – then Emergency Medical Services should be contacted immediately. Prolonged seizures may develop into status epilepticus, a dangerous condition requiring hospitalization and emergency treatment. Objects should never be placed in a person’s mouth by anybody – including paramedics – during a seizure as this could result in serious injury to either party. Despite common folklore, it is not possible for a person toepileptic.jpg swallow their own tongue during a seizure.


HISTORY & STIGMA: The word epilepsy is derived from the Greek epilepsia, which in turn can be broken in to epi- (upon) and lepsis (to take hold of, or seizure) In the past, epilepsy was associated with religious experiences and even demonic possession. In ancient times, epilepsy was known as the “Sacred Disease” because people thought that epileptic seizures were a form of attack by demons, or that the visions experienced by persons with epilepsy were sent by the gods. However, in many cultures, persons with epilepsy have been stigmatized, shunned, or even imprisoned; in the Salptrire, the birthplace of modern neurology, Jean-Martin Charcot found people with epilepsy side-by-side with the mentally retarded, those with chronic syphilis, and the criminally insane. In Tanzania to this day, as with other parts of Africa, epilepsy is associated with possession by evil spirits, witchcraft, or poisoning and is believed by many to be contagious.[23] In ancient Rome, epilepsy was known as the Morbus Comitialis (‘disease of the assembly hall’) and was seen as a curse from the gods. Stigma continues to this day, in both the public and private spheres, but polls suggest it is generally decreasing with time, at least in the developed world; Hippocrates remarked that epilepsy would cease to be considered divine the day it was understood. [via WIKIPEDIA]

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19 Responses to “BREAKING: Chief Justice Hospitalized After Seizure”

  1. bob Says:


    Epileptic man cleared of charges after being arrested during one of his seizures

    dundee is seen on videotape quietly seated at a table working on a puzzle. He is hooked up to a hospital monitor when suddenly he looks bewildered. He then begins tossing the pieces of the puzzle around and acting out of control.

    The film shows dundee, 32, of Darby Borough, in the midst of an epileptic spasm in which he doesnt react to commands. That is the same kind of seizure that defense attorney Albert Greto said dundee was suffering May 6, 2004 when he was arrested and jailed in Darby Borough.

    The videotape shot at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, where dundee has at least a 10-year documented history of treatment for epilepsy, provided powerful evidence and helped lead to criminal assault charges against him being dropped earlier this month.

    “He (dundee) has a pretty heavy cross to bear,” said Greto. The attorney said an agreement was reached on the charges in which the district attorneys office decided not prosecute. And dundee agreed not to pursue civil action against the police.

    “The police are now on notice about his condition,” said Greto. He explained that his client does wear medical alert bracelets and had them on at the time of his arrest.

    Greto said the incident began when kids started throwing sticks at dundee as he was walking to the trolley stop to go to the hospital. dundee then made a gesture with a small multi-purpose tool, as if he had a gun.

    Continuing on his way to the SEPTA Loop on Main Street in Darby, dundee was stopped and arrested, said Greto. Assistant District Attorney Thomas Lawrie said the agreement was reached not to prosecute dundee, based on testimony given at a pre-trial hearing by Dr. Jacqueline French, chief of the division of epilepsy in the University of Pennsylvanias Department of Neurology.

    During that hearing, Dr. French showed the videotape of dundees recorded epileptic seizures and indicated that it fit the pattern of what he was going through at the time of his arrest.

    “He(dundee) signed a release so there would be no (civil) action taken against Darby,” said Lawrie. “Hes had this condition for at least 10 years. He is under treatment and there is no cure. Dr. Frenchs testimony was of sufficient quality that at the time of the offense he was probably substantially impaired because of the epilepsy.”

    dundee said even though the charges against him are gone, he is still afraid. “Im trying to get my life together. This took two-and-a-half years out of it. I dont want it to happen to me again,” he said. “I just want to go to school to earn my credits, work and take care of my mother.”

    He added he believes police officers should be able to discern whether somebody is being disorderly or is suffering from an uncontrollable condition as he has.

    “I would like to see the police receive some kind of training to deal with somebody who has problems like I have,” said dundee.

    His mother, said that at the time, dundees father, who has since died of cancer, was terminally ill. She said her son had suffered a seizure at the house that day. But while she was overwhelmed with caring for her husband, she couldnt drive her son to the hospital. She was trying to find somebody who could. And the next thing she knew he was gone.

    After he left, she said she waited hours and then grew anxious and called the hospital as well as Darby police, but to no avail.

    “I didnt know where he was. I called state police and they said if he didnt come home overnight, to go to the (Darby) police station the next day to file a missing persons report.”

    She said it was only when she went to the station the next day she learned he had been in jail. She then became doubly concerned, because he hadnt taken his medicine. She said he was then transported to Delaware County prison because the family didnt have the necessary money to bail him out.

    A friend finally came forward and posted the bail, after dundee had been behind bars for about a week, she said.

    “When he was released, I took him immediately right to the University of Pennsylvania (hospital). There were no traces of medication in his system. He was having seizures. He also suffered broken ribs,” she said.

    Greto said that while dundee was in Darby police custody, his ribs were injured.

    An affidavit of probable cause states that while dundee was in a jail cell in Darby, he became unruly, clogged the toilet and began screaming, banging and kicking the cells walls(wanting his medication and phonecalls).

    “When the officers informed Mr. dundee to stop what he was doing he began to throw wet balls of toilet paper and throw water at the officers,” according to the affidavit of probable cause. “The key was obtained so they (officers) could restrain Mr. Stalker. A brief struggle was encountered while Mr. dundee continued to yell at the officers,” according to the document.

    Greto said Darby Borough has video camera setup that should have captured that incident if it took place. Police have told him that the camera equipment was not working at that time, he said.

    Lawrie said that Darbys police video recording system was not working at the time. “The repairman was there in March and April. There were ongoing problems with it,” said Lawrie.

    He described the police action as “more unfortunate than intentional. He (dundee) was manifesting quite a bit of aggression not only toward the police officers but toward the victims earlier just prior to his arrest.

    And it was reasonable to assume that he was not only conscious but acting in an intentional manner,” said Lawrie.

    “The police did nothing wrong and they are satisfied that was an appropriate resolution,” said the prosecutor.

    dundee said if his friend hadnt come through with the bail money, he could still have been in jail when his father passed away that year.

    His mother thanked God and Greto that they are out from under the cloud of the charges, especially over the holiday season.

    “I prayed and prayed,” she said choking back tears.

    “We wouldnt have had any peace if it wasnt for Mr. Greto.”

    The feelings are mutual. “They are really a nice family,” said Greto. “They have a lot of crosses to bear. Hopefully people if they are aware of what he is going through will become more understanding.”


    A Darby Borough man who suffers from epilepsy won a
    significant court victory this week when a federal judge ruled he can
    sue three paramedics who allegedly assisted police in wrestling him
    to the ground despite pleas from his wife that he was suffering a

    U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker said a jury must decide if the
    paramedics conspired with the police to deprive Ronald Parks of his
    right to be free from the use of excessive force.

    But Tucker dismissed all claims brought by the Epilepsy Foundation of
    Southeastern Pennsylvania, saying the organization had no legal
    standing to join Parks as a plaintiff in the case.

    Allowing the Epilepsy Foundation to stay in the suit, she said, would
    force the court to rule on “questions of broad social import where no
    individual rights would be vindicated.”

    Attorney Barbara Ransom of the Public Interest Law Center of
    Philadelphia filed the suit along with lawyers from the Center for
    Disability Law & Policy.

    Named as defendants in the suit are Darby Borough, its police chief
    and three Darby police officers; Folcroft Borough, its police chief
    and two Folcroft officers; the Mercy Health System and three of its
    paramedics; and the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training

    Ransom contends that the paramedics should have told the police
    officers to “back off” and instructed them that someone who is having
    a seizure should never be restrained.

    The suit says the Epilepsy Foundation for years has offered police
    departments a free training session on how to recognize the symptoms
    of and how to respond to an epileptic seizure, but that neither Darby
    or Folcroft boroughs have taken advantage of the offer.

    According to the suit, Parks, 53, has had epilepsy since the age of
    10 when an operation to install a metal plate in his head
    precipitated its onset.

    In February 1998, Parks suffered a grand mal seizure and his 11-year-
    old son, Dante, called 911. The first to arrive on the scene was
    Officer Jamie Campbell of Darby who “did not recognize the symptoms
    of epilepsy” and “maintained a distance of at least 5 feet … and
    offered no assistance,” the suit says.

    Despite being told repeatedly that Parks was having a seizure, the
    suit says, Campbell failed to summon emergency medical technicians
    but instead responded by making an “officer assist” call that
    resulted in a half dozen additional officers joining him in the home.

    When Parks “stumbled” toward some of the cops, the suit alleges that
    Campbell “rushed” Parks from behind and “knocked him into a dining
    room cabinet.”

    And when three paramedics from Mercy did arrive, the suit says,
    they “disregarded any training they may have had in seizure
    management and assisted Campbell in wrestling Mr. Parks to the floor.”

    During his violent arrest, Parks claims police pushed his face into
    the floor and yelled loudly at him, using obscene language.

    All the while, the suit says, Parks’ wife was trying to tell the
    officers that her husband was experiencing a seizure, that his
    movements were involuntary, and that they should stop using force on

    Ultimately, Parks was strapped to a stretcher and taken to Fitzgerald
    Mercy Hospital, where he was treated and released the same day, the
    suit says.

    Mercy Health System’s lawyers argued that all claims against it and
    the three paramedics should be dismissed because there was no
    evidence of a conspiracy to violate Parks’ civil rights.

    But Tucker found that two of the paramedics — Mark J. Ragnore and
    Stephen J. Oreskovich — offered conflicting testimony.

    While Ragnore said Campbell initiated the restraint and handcuffing
    on his own, Oreskovich testified that Ragnore worked with Campbell to
    restrain Parks by holding his arm. As a result, Tucker ruled a jury
    must sort out the factual dispute.

    “A reasonable juror could find that defendants Ragnore and Oreskovich
    conspired with Officer Campbell to deprive plaintiff of his right to
    be free from the use of excessive forces,” Tucker wrote.
    PHILADELPHIA — Darby Borough fended off a lawsuit in federal court
    yesterday when a jury found that its police chief and a former police
    officer were not liable for injuries sustained to Ronald Parks, an
    epileptic man who claimed he was assaulted while suffering a seizure
    in 1998.

    Parks’ wife, Jennifer, is a Democrat running for the Third Ward Darby
    Borough Council seat in today’s election.

    The case spanned two weeks in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge
    Petrese B. Tucker, eliciting multiple scenarios of what transpired
    the morning of Feb. 18, 1998, when police and paramedics responded to
    a 911 call at the Parks’ residence.

    Plaintiff’s attorneys described former Darby Police officer Jamie
    Campbell as a ruthless and untrained cop who attacked and handcuffed
    Parks without provocation, causing nerve damage, partial paralysis,
    and “emotional and psychological damage.”

    Stephen Pennington, an attorney with the Center for Disability Law
    and Policy, praised Parks’ “courage” in standing up to Campbell, whom
    he said responded to the call “looking for trouble.”

    Parks testified that he remembers only the moments immediately before
    his gran mal seizure, and awakening handcuffed to a bed at Mercy
    Fitzgerald Hospital, bleeding from his wrist and ankle, with a cut

    The jury of seven women and one man heard Parks describe how his life
    has been “hell” in the five years since the incident, which he said
    had a “very devastating effect on the family.”

    “I’m scared. I’m upset. I go see a psychologist,” said Parks,
    epileptic since the age of 10. “The only thing I ask is `Why?'”

    In his closing argument, Pennington relied heavily on the testimony
    of Jennifer Parks, who said Campbell used excessive force in
    restraining her husband.

    The lawsuit states Campbell “rushed Mr. Parks from behind and knocked
    him into a dining-room cabinet.”

    Pointing to her, Pennington asked the jury, “Can we even imagine that
    Jennifer Parks is going to take this stand and lie? Is it even
    conceivable that she would do that?”

    An attorney for Darby Borough, Robert DiDomenicis, describing what he
    saw as inconsistencies in the testimonies of the Parks family,
    commanded the jury to disregard their emotions and decide the case
    based on facts.

    “How do we get to the truth?” DiDomenicis asked. “We don’t get there
    by applying sympathy and compassion.”

    “If you’re a police officer, you need to be able to get control of
    the situation. And that’s all that Officer Campbell did that day,”
    DiDomenicis said.

    He argued that Parks’ injuries predated and were unrelated to the
    February 1998 incident, and that his complaint of numbness in his
    right hand could be attributed to the side-effects of Dilantin, an
    epilepsy drug prescribed to Parks.

    Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe was also included in the lawsuit for
    allegedly failing to train his officers in compliance with federal
    regulations that prohibit discrimination against the disabled.

    Late Friday afternoon, the jury informed Tucker that they could not
    reach a unanimous verdict and were subsequently sent home.

    Over the weekend, a juror was dismissed from the case due to a
    prescheduled vacation.

    When the jury reconvened yesterday morning, it reached a verdict
    within an hour that sided with Darby Borough, Smythe, and Campbell on
    all charges.

    Parks’ legal team has previously reached settlements with Mercy
    Health System and the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and
    Training Commission, which sets statewide police-training guidelines.

    Pennington said a decision on whether to appeal yesterday’s verdict
    has not yet been made.

    its outragous how folks are treated!
    The Law Center’s first civil action on behalf of persons with disabilities in the criminal justice system began in 1978 with McDermott v. City of Philadelphia. Kevin McDermott, a man with epilepsy, was leaving a store in his own neighborhood when he had a seizure. Confusing Mr. McDermott’s behavior as related to intoxication, a Philadelphia police officer beat and arrested him. The Epilepsy Foundation of America joined the litigation as a plaintiff. Also in 1978, the Law Center represented William Battles, a man with diabetes, and the Diabetes Association, in Battles v. City of Philadelphia. Again, the officers interpreted behavior associated with a disability-diabetes–as intoxication. Mr. Battles was beaten and arrested. As part of the settlement of these cases, the City agreed to provide training in the recognition of persons with disabilities.

    In more recent years, the Law Center filed McArthur v. City of Harrisburg on behalf of a man with autism who possessed limited communication skills. On two separate occasions, Mr. McArthur was arrested by Harrisburg Borough police officers when his disability-related behavior was interpreted as resisting arrest. Other plaintiffs in the matter included the ARC of Pennsylvania and Autism Support and Advocacy. Settlements of these cases resulted in new training policies for Harrisburg officers.

    The Law Center recently represented a man with epilepsy and the Epilepsy Foundation of Southeastern Pennsylvania in an action against the police department of Darby Borough and other emergency responders in Parks v. Darby Borough. The suit alleged that Mr. Parks was forcibly subdued when he called for assistance during a seizure. Unfortunately, a jury failed to find in this matter that there was any violation of Mr. Parks’ civil rights under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Because the evidence presented at trial, including the Borough’s own testimony, established that it failed to conduct a self-evaluation for police officers who respond to 911 medical assistance calls from, or on behalf of persons with disabilities, the Law Center filed a motion asking the Court to either grant a new trial or injunctive relief to enjoin Darby Borough to ensure that all of the police officers it employs receive training in the recognition and proper management of seizure patients. This motion was denied in the fall of 2004.

    While this motion was denied, the settlement agreement reached by the Law Center with the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, another defendant in this matter, resulted in the training of twenty thousand police officers in Pennsylvania in how to recognize persons with disabilities and how to interact appropriately with them. The training curriculum used by the Commission was developed with the participation of advocates of persons with epilepsy, autism, mental retardation, Alzheimer’s disease and physical disabilities. In 2003, this curriculum was adopted by the F.B.I. for use in its training programs.

    The Law Center presently is collecting data to evaluate the overall effectiveness of police training obtained through litigation in Pennsylvania.

    The Law Center’s Barbara E. Ransom has been working with advocates and advocacy organizations for over a decade to require law enforcement to implement effective training programs. In 1999, Ms. Ransom served as project manager for a Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council grant to support a coalition of advocates, CADRE, in its effort to obtain passage of a bill that would have required training on the identifiable characteristics and appropriate treatment of persons with disabilities. While this effort was not successful, Ms. Ransom continues to advocate for change at the systemic level and provides training to persons with disabilities throughout the country, as well as internationally, around effective self-advocacy strategies and their rights under the American with Disabilities Act and other federal and state laws.

    The Law Center is not alone in accomplishing the goals of its mission. We have, and continue to work with, those organizations and individuals who understand the importance of this issue. One such organization is the ARC, a national organization with a network of state and local chapters. The ARC publishes brochures, fact sheets and resource lists on the topic of people with developmental disabilities who encounter the criminal justice system as witnesses, victims, suspects, defendants or inmates. Several of the state chapters have developed criminal justice projects such as CAVNET (Communities Against Violence Network) which consists of an international network of professionals addressing domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, incest, stalking, crime victims with disabilities and human rights, bringing together law enforcement, judges, clergy, lawyers, social workers and other human rights advocates.

  2. bob Says:

    read between the lines of unsecured bail granted right back then make your judgement.

  3. bob Says:

    middle of november and first responders drunk on duty once again!so whats a person like i to think when he depends on first responders like medics,ems,firefighters,police,etc after arrested for epilepsy and beaten -all charges dropped -12- long as i signb not to sue because i havent nomore lifetime for court,my head needed credits from community college to start over now that i have no court dates.
    but now they show up drunk and crashes the firetrucks.i wouldnt doubt that police and medics drank at the firehouse bar or a hidden spot awasy from the firehouse,just follow volenteers,lol.

    Some residents in Darby Borough are angry after they said intoxicated firefighters drove a station truck struck their vehicles — again.

    Several months ago, NBC 10 investigator Luann Cahn covered a similar incident. This time, she said police reports confirmed that a ladder truck from Darby Borough Fire Station No. 2 ran into several vehicles last Thursday.

    A resident said doors and bumpers were ripped off some of the cars parked on Concord Road from the impact.

    It was moving quick and they didn’t stop,” one resident said.

    According to sources, the truck was responding to a fire close to the firehouse, but drivers took the long route through several other boroughs before smashing through narrow Concord Road.

    The truck eventually made it to the fire call, but it was so late another ladder truck had been called in from neighboring Collingdale, sources added, noting that members of the fire company were seen at a party with an open bar earlier in the night.

    There is also a bar in the firehouse.

    The president of the fire company, Ed Neary Sr., said he was out of town when the incident happened.

    Neary said he didn’t know who was driving at the time of the incident, and added that the incident was under investigation.

    Last year, the fire chief of Darby Station No. 1 wrote letters to borough managers stating that Darby fire patrol No. 2 operated vehicles and manpower under the influence of alcohol.

    “I’m going to definitely ask more questions now that you’re telling me,” Mayor Helen Thomas said

    Still, Thomas said, police are not reporting any suspicion of alcohol in this case.

    “I think it was 1 in the morning; everyone was in bed,” firefighter Mike Fecanin said when asked if anyone had been drinking before the fire call.

    But neighbors said it just doesn’t make sense.

    “I think it was reckless and dangerous,” a resident said.

    NBC 10 obtained a police report that stated Ed Gannon, the third assistant fire chief of Darby No. 2, was driving the truck. He did not return calls from NBC 10.

    The station also contacted Ed Gannon Jr., a local district justice and a Darby No. 2 firefighter, but he did not wish to comment.

  4. bob Says:

    NOW KEEP READING,things do come up fast in town.not new,just nobody cares while these guys get paid $DOLLARS$ for drinkin on duty when not volenteering.i garontee our feet are stepping down!

  5. bob Says:

    P.S. WHERES CHEIF JUSTICE WHILE THIS GOES DOWN IN one tiny town of curruption,,,,,,,,,would there be fear in his eyes living in town knowing the towns past history of epileptics landing behind bars,beaten up and everyone on duty(FIRST RESPONDERS) turn up drunk quite a few times just as residents turn into victems due to how our town handles things today.
    wouldnt you feel victemized as a person with epilepsy forced to walk these streets due to laws of drivers licensing and epilepsy.its a few blocks to the trolleystop if im goin to town.just the fear alone im sick of,now i feel like puking just thinkin about what happened three and a hq

  6. bob Says:

    guess chief justice is laid back at the firehouse havin a beere with the medics whom respond drunk.
    ty mr roberts for not even comming by to say hello

  7. Bob Says:

    Ronald Parks FinallyHas His Day in CourtIn a two-week jury trial – October 21 through October 31, 2003 –Ronald Parks and his family finally had the opportunity to tell a juryabout the ordeal of February 18, 1998 when untrained police officersfrom Darby Borough responded to a 911 medical call that 10-year-oldDante had made to get an ambulance for his dad.At approximately 7:00a.m. Ronald Parks had an epileptic seizure. As his body convulseduncontrollably, his wife, Jennifer, told Dante to call for an ambulanceand go outside to make sure the paramedics came to the right house.Unfortunately, a just recently hired, part-time police officer arrivedbefore the ambulance.Without training in the recognition and manage-ment of seizure patients,the officer turned a call for medical assistanceinto a police action that turned the family’s world upside down.Darby Borough – infamous for the number of excessive force claimsfiled against its police officers – had obtained a waiver that exemptedthis officer – from all of the training requirements of the MunicipalPolice Officers Education and Training Commission.The Commission,another defendant in this matter, had settled Mr. Parks’ claims andmodified its curriculum in 2001 to include training in the recognitionand management of seizure patients.This training is now a part of thepreparation every person completing a police training program in theCommonwealth receives. It is also one of the regular offerings of theCommission’s continuing education curriculum for current police offi-cers.In addition,the curriculum has been adopted by the F.B.I.for usein its training program.In addition to the Commission,two other defendants who respondedafter Darby Borough and participated in forcibly restraining Mr. Parkssettled, agreeing to appropriate training and paying, along with theCommission,a total of $86,000.Unfortunately and inexplicably, the jury of six white women and oneHispanic man refused to find that there was any violation of Mr.Parks’civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), theRehabilitation Act or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Becausethe uncontroverted evidence in the record,including the Borough’s owntestimony,establishes that it failed to conduct a self-evaluation,to trainor require training for police officers who respond to 911 medical assis-tance calls from, or on behalf of, persons with disabilities, the LawCenter has filed a motion asking the Court to either grant Mr. Parks anew trial or to grant him injunctive relief to enjoin Darby Borough toensure that all of the police officers that it employs receive training inthe recognition and proper management of seizure patients.Within a month of the trial, the Law Center received yet another callabout allegations of Darby Borough’s police engaging in misconduct.This call came on behalf of a 55 year old man with diabetes who claimshe was refused access to his medication after being taken into custodyby Darby police officers.As with Mr. Parks’ claim, the Law Center willcontact the U.S.Department of Justice and request that it investigate thematter.

  8. Bob Says:

    sorry,it slipps my mind about misconduct such as refusing diebetis medications or anything that we can withdraw from.withdraw kills just as a sip of alchohol can kill some on these pills.

  9. Bob Says:

    Slingshot Hit On Cruiser
    19 People Taken In For Questioning;
    No Arrests Yet
    DARBY, Pa. – Someone fired a slingshot at a Darby police car Monday night, breaking the rear window.

    An officer was driving down North Third Street near Main Street when the cruiser was hit by the projectile around 9:30 p.m.

    Police said the object was fired from a house on North Third Street, and it led to what was initially reported to be a barricade situation.

    “Initially, we thought it was a firearm,” Police Chief Robert Smythe said Monday night. “We now come to learn that in fact there was not a firearm but a type of a power slingshot, of which a round, metal ball was fired at the car.”

    Police closed down the street and obtained a warrant to search three homes from which the projectile may have been fired.

    Smythe told “Good Day Philadelphia” Tuesday morning that the object was a ball bearing about the size of a .38-caliber shotgun pellet.

    Smythe said they have identified some eyewitnesses, and 19 people were taken in for questioning. No arrests have been made, but police have one or two persons of interest.

    Darby made headlines last week when a 9 p.m. curfew was enacted in parts of the borough.

    “The purpose of that was there was so much random gunfire in the area that my concern was — especially after a numebrs of houses had been hit — that this random person that’s just firing the gun at will is going to strike some innocent person inside a house,” Smythe said, explaining the rationale for the curfew.

    The police chief said the curfew had been working well “until we had this incident last night.

    “We believe it’s in retaliation for the curfew,” Smythe added. “The mayor has received a number of reports from people down there that are in favor of this. They want to be able to sit on their steps and live a normal live.”

    He added that he believes the problems are drug-related.

  10. Bob Says:

    wheres the national guard already!

  11. bob Says:


    As far as bank robberies go, this one seemed disturbing enough, with a perpetrator wearing sunglasses and a black baseball cap, brazenly announcing to a teller: ”This is a holdup. I have a bomb on me.”

    His demand quickly satisfied, he casually walked out of the Mellon PSFS Bank in Upper Darby Township near here on Friday and disappeared into the afternoon with $1,500 in small bills. No one was hurt.

    But the authorities here learned quickly just how unsettling the robbery had been: Within two hours, the Mayor of Darby Borough, Daniel F. Devlin, confessed to the holdup, surrendering to his good friend, Robert F. Smythe, the Darby Police Chief, and returning the money.

    Mr. Devlin, a Republican who was unsuccessful in his bid last month for a second four-year term, was arraigned on two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts and faces up to 20 years in prison. He was released on bail, and today his lawyer, Carmen P. Belefonte, said Mr. Devlin, 51, was now a patient at a mental health clinic outside Philadelphia, being treated for severe depression. Nancy Devlin, his wife, hung up on a reporter seeking comment.

    The episode has stunned this working-class town of 11,000 people just southwest of Philadelphia. Settled as a mill town in the 1690’s, it is struggling to remain viable, as crime rates go up, home ownership goes down and businesses steadily leave. To many here, Mr. Devlin was a hard-working, amiable public servant in the part-time position of mayor, ”an outstanding, kind, generous man,” as described by a secretary in the borough municipal office who would identify herself only as ”Robin to his Bat Man.”

    But the events of Friday revealed a little-known and painful side of Mr. Devlin that seems to parallel the town, itself: both fighting an inexorable slide from middle-class stability.

    For 28 years, Mr. Devlin worked in the print shop of a large Delaware County company, MAB Paints. About two years ago, he joined other union workers in a strike that lasted 18 months. Before it ended, he suffered a heart attack, and later, Mr. Belefonte said, depression that required professional help.

    Mr. Devlin returned to work after the strike but left the company in May for a higher-paying job, as a local representative for the Pennsylvania State Lottery. Four months later, he resigned for ”personal reasons,” said Deb Snyder, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Revenue who offered no other details.

    In November, with debts mounting, and, Mr. Belefonte said, his depression unabating, Mr. Devlin lost the election by a 2-to-1 margin to a Democratic challenger, Paula Brown, who is to assume her mayoral duties on Monday.

    Then, six weeks after the election, say Mr. Devlin’s friends, he appeared to snap.

    ”We’re all still trying to figure out what happened,” said Mike Maguire, a former colleague of Mr. Devlin’s at the paint company.

    ”He was pushed to the edge, by the money, by things that didn’t go right in his life,” Mr. Maguire added. ”Then there he is, wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap, robbing a bank. He’s not that dumb.”

    In an interview with The Delaware County Sunday Times, Chief Smythe said: ”That wasn’t Dan Devlin robbing that bank. It was the person occupying Dan Devlin’s body.” Chief Smythe added that Mr. Devlin thought he was about to lose his home to foreclosure, ”so on Friday, he was riding around, totally depressed, and then sees the bank.”

    Chief Smythe did not respond to several messages left for him, but his explanation could well serve Mr. Devlin if the case goes to trial. Patrick L. Meehan, the Delaware County District Attorney, said that he intended to treat the case ”like any other bank robbery” and that Mr. Devlin’s role as Mayor would have ”no impact on how we approach him.”

    On the other hand, Mr. Meehan said, he expected Mr. Devlin’s lawyers to introduce mitigating factors intended to win a reduced sentence, one of which could be Mr. Devlin’s mental condition.

    Mr. Belefonte made it clear that Mr. Devlin’s mental condition played a major role in what happened on Friday. He said that in addition to receiving counseling, Mr. Devlin had been taking medication for depression before the holdup.

    ”He has major depression,” Mr. Belefonte said. ”His depression is so severe there is no question he did not understand the consequences of what he did. One of the things that I said was imperative was that he be placed in a medical facility for further evaluation. This man needs help.”

  12. bob Says:

    Darby police department sued by ex-cops, constable claiming race-based dangers
    Philadelphia Daily News 215-854-5255

    The Darby Borough Police Department has faced plenty of civil-rights lawsuits over the years.
    But this one originates from behind the Blue Wall.

    Two former Darby cops and the borough constable have filed a federal lawsuit against Mayor Helen Thomas, Police Chief Bob Smythe and other police officers, claiming that they were harassed and put in life-threatening situations because they are black.

    Former Officer Patrick Ojong said in the complaint that Patrolman Anthony Salvatore, who is white, pulled his service weapon on him in the squad room following a 2007 dispute over Salvatore’s flashlight.

    Salvatore held the loaded gun inches from Ojong’s head and said, “I’m going to f—— blow your head off,” according to the suit, which names Salvatore as a defendant.

    Elijah Thompson, a former cop in Darby and Chester, accused fellow Darby officers of risking his life by arriving late to requests for backup – or not showing up at all. He also charged in the suit that he was eventually excluded from responding to most calls, “except certain calls that the white officers didn’t want to answer.”

    Thompson, who works for the William Penn School District, and Ojong, who moved to Maryland, said they had been forced to quit.

    Also joining the suit is Curtis Stockley, the elected constable in Darby. Stockley claimed that he’d been banned from taking prisoners to the borough jail and that he remains “fearful to execute any warrants because he is afraid that he will not receive backup.”

    Stockley, the brother of Borough Councilwoman Edna Stockley, accused Smythe of attempting to interfere with his second job as an investigator in the William Penn School District by telling the district superintendent that he was racist and belonged to the Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club.

    In the lawsuit, Stockley conceded that he once was a member of the West Philadelphia bike club, but said that he has not been an active member for “many years.”

    Smythe did not return a call requesting comment yesterday. Darby Solicitor Raymond Santarelli said the borough wouldn’t comment on active litigation. Salvatore could not be reached.

    In 2005, then-Mayor Paula Brown ordered Smythe suspended because he refused to remove Salvatore from the officer schedule. She had raised questions about Salvatore’s conduct.

    Yesterday, Brown called it “admirable” that Stockley, Ojong and Thompson filed the suit. She said that cops don’t like having a colleague accuse them of wrongdoing.

    “To me, they are to be highly commended that they came forward,” Brown said. “Cops don’t tell on other cops.”

    The suit, filed last month in Philadelphia by New Jersey attorney Gregg Zeff, names as a defendant a black police lieutenant. The mayor is also black.

    “Discrimination is discrimination,” Zeff said, “whether you’re an active participant or whether you aided or abetted.”

  13. john Says:

    A nephew of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas suffered a seizure after he was beaten during a scuffle with security guards in the emergency room of a New Orleans area hospital, relatives alleged Friday.

    Derek Thomas, 25, was immobilized with a stun gun Thursday when hospital security tried to prevent him from leaving West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, La., according to an account his sister, Kimberly Thomas, provided to WDSU, a local television station.

    Kimberly Thomas said security officers used the device, possibly a Taser, to immobilize her brother. “One of the security guards punched him in the lip,” she told WDSU. “Another one pulled out more than a fist full of his hair and, from that point, they [shocked] him.”

    Thomas has epilepsy, she said, and suffered a seizure shortly after the stun gun was used.

    Their mother, Dora Thomas, confirmed the account in an interview with The Washington Post. She said she picked her son up from the hospital on Friday and he is resting at home.

    “He’s okay,” she said. “He’s as well as can be expected.”

    Clarence Thomas is upset about the incident and is planning to go to New Orleans to check on his nephew, perhaps as soon as Friday, Kimberly Thomas told the television station. Dora Thomas declined to comment on her brother-in-law’s travel plans.

    A Supreme Court spokeswoman told The Post that the justice had no comment on the matter.Reached at her home in Georgia, Clarence Thomas’s mother, Leola Williams, said she, too, was flying to New Orleans to see Derek Thomas. “I’m just worried about my grandson,” Williams told The Post, declining to answer questions about the incident.

    The hospital issued a statement to reporters on Friday saying officials are investigating the incident. “Obviously, prior to the completion of any investigation, the true and accurate facts concerning an alleged event cannot be known,” read the statement.

    Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, told The Post that the incident occurred Thursday about 2:30 p.m. Police officers went to the hospital to take an incident report, but they took no action because the situation was being handled by hospital security officials, Fortunato said.

    Kimberly Thomas told WDSU that her brother, a Nicholls State University student, was admitted to the hospital on Thursday after becoming emotionally unstable. She said he sought an evaluation, but became “really adamant” about leaving once a doctor asked him to wear a hospital gown.

    “He came there for personal reasons; the doctor was trying to get him to put on a hospital robe, and he did not want to put the gown on,” she told the television station. “What happened was the security was going to forcibly make him put on the gown.”

    Kimberly Thomas said she is “sickened” by the incident.

    “I’m sickened by it because my brother is a college student and a small business owner who has not been in any trouble,” she said. “He’s not violent and yet this is how they are treating someone.”

  14. bob Says:

    welcome to the party john.been a while since i posted,doesnt mean i dont stop by checking for new post as john,somehow i highly doubt its john roberts himself,if it was,then im not surprised he left no comment,just another story about another politician in the news for seizure related incidents.if it were,then speak up now knowing your not alone in this world.
    if your unwilling to speak ,then whynot make us popular?chief justice or not,people do stop by here.and as a note on that-theres new stories everyday about others being arrested and victemized due to some rotten first responders who can careless in this world.sometimees-i bet they just get bored and would rather take us to jail.
    now,ide be willing to step back onto this if i knew others would speak out here.the more posts we get here,the more popular the site gets.the more popular it gets-the closer it will get to reaching the top within a search engine when folks do a search specifically on epilepsy,or epilepsy and abuse.
    let me see a few more true stories and speak up here also,ide bet others would start dropping by as the popularity grows.with what happens daily,i could get a million stories per month about locals and nationals who have been victemized.
    speak up now,and maybe this would turn into something politicians may soon see often within a search.i only tell true stories stop on by and lets get this party started!

  15. al alberts Says:

    Two former Darby cops and the borough constable have filed a federal lawsuit against Mayor Helen Thomas, Police Chief Bob Smythe and other police officers, claiming that they were harassed and put in life-threatening situations because they are black.

    Former Officer Patrick Ojong said in the complaint that Patrolman Anthony Salvatore, who is white, pulled his service weapon on him in the squad room following a 2007 dispute over Salvatore’s flashlight.

    Salvatore held the loaded gun inches from Ojong’s head and said, “I’m going to f—— blow your head off,” according to the suit, which names Salvatore as a defendant.

    Elijah Thompson, a former cop in Darby and Chester, accused fellow Darby officers of risking his life by arriving late to requests for backup – or not showing up at all. He also charged in the suit that he was eventually excluded from responding to most calls, “except certain calls that the white officers didn’t want to answer.”

    Thompson, who works for the William Penn School District, and Ojong, who moved to Maryland, said they had been forced to quit.

    Also joining the suit is Curtis Stockley, the elected constable in Darby. Stockley claimed that he’d been banned from taking prisoners to the borough jail and that he remains “fearful to execute any warrants because he is afraid that he will not receive backup.”

    Stockley, the brother of Borough Councilwoman Edna Stockley, accused Smythe of attempting to interfere with his second job as an investigator in the William Penn School District by telling the district superintendent that he was racist and belonged to the Wheels of Soul Motorcycle Club.

    In the lawsuit, Stockley conceded that he once was a member of the West Philadelphia bike club, but said that he has not been an active member for “many years.”

    Smythe did not return a call requesting comment yesterday. Darby Solicitor Raymond Santarelli said the borough wouldn’t comment on active litigation. Salvatore could not be reached.

    In 2005, then-Mayor Paula Brown ordered Smythe suspended because he refused to remove Salvatore from the officer schedule. She had raised questions about Salvatore’s conduct.

    Yesterday, Brown called it “admirable” that Stockley, Ojong and Thompson filed the suit. She said that cops don’t like having a colleague accuse them of wrongdoing.

    “To me, they are to be highly commended that they came forward,” Brown said. “Cops don’t tell on other cops.”

  16. subzero Says:

    a thousand bucks and the excops out.CHUMPCHANGE!while an innocent man from the starts gotta pay TRIPLE!boy!justice has its cracks!

    UPPER DARBY — A former Darby Borough cop allegedly pulled a gun and used his badge to threaten two women in a road-rage incident Saturday morning, police said.

    Michael Edward Lane, 40, of the 1000 block of Tremont Drive, Glenolden, was arrested 2:30 a.m. Saturday and charged with impersonating a police officer and related offenses.

    Both township police Superintendent Michael Chitwood and Darby Police Chief Robert Smythe are upset and angered by the misrepresentation on the highway.

    “He pulled a gun on two women, ages 25 and 44, in the area of State Road and Lansdowne Avenue,” Chitwood said. “The victims were en route to their residence in West Philadelphia when he started flashing his high beams on and off. They pull over and he starts screaming at the victim, ‘What the heck is (expletives) wrong with you? You don’t know who you’re (expletive) with.’ He pulled out his badge saying he’s a cop and claiming he was cut off. When he sees them on a cell phone, he took off.”

    Officers John Redheffer and Brian Wearshing saw the silver Mercury Grand Marquis described by the women on the 600 block of Lansdowne Avenue and stop Lane for questioning.

    According to Chitwood, the officers recovered the Darby police badge, a fully loaded Glock .40-caliber handgun, two spare magazines and a box containing 50 rounds of .40-caliber ammunition.

    “He never turned in his identification or badge to Darby when he was terminated nine months ago,” Chitwood said. “The gun belonged to him and he was licensed to carry.”

    Smythe recalled Lane was in training and assigned to a field-training officer when it became evident he would not qualify as an officer.

    “He had a problem with showing up and a problem with taking orders,” Smythe said. “He was told by the lieutenant he was probably not going to make it and told to return his equipment. He was offered an opportunity to resign or be dismissed and he requested a meeting with me. I told him, ‘You’re done.’ He was fired. I thought we were in possession of his badge. I’m extremely upset about it. The badge is the most sacred thing. You just don’t leave it hanging out there. As far as I’m concerned, it’s stolen property. It was our property.”

    Lane was arraigned on charges of possessing instruments of crime, simple and aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, harassment, terroristic threats and impersonating a public servant. Bail was set at 10 percent of $10,000 pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

  17. john doe Says:


    Tragic epilepsy parents ‘treated like criminals’
    The parents of a girl who died from the disorder have told an inquiry that police barred them from her room.
    .04 November 2010 16:57 GMT

    Christina Ilia: Specialist withheld information, inquiry heard.

    The parents of a schoolgirl found dead in her bed were “treated like criminals”, an inquiry into her death has heard.

    Christina Ilia, a 15-year-old pupil at Forfar Academy, died suddenly in March 2009 at her home in the Newmonthill area of Forfar, Angus.

    A fatal accident inquiry into her death is being heard in tandem with a probe into the epilepsy death of 19-year-old St Andrew University student Erin Casey at Dundee Sheriff Court.

    Both died from SUDEP – sudden unexpected death in epilepsy.

    Christina’s father, Markos Ilia, said he and his partner Lynne Wheeler were thrown out of their home by the police, with their daughter’s bedroom described as a “crime scene”.

    He said one male officer even entered their bedroom as Ms Wheeler changed to tell her to hurry up.

    Mr Ilia said they were not allowed to return to their daughter’s bedroom.

    He said: “They said the room was a crime scene.

    “Some of the rudeness from the police was unbelievable. You would think I was a criminal.”


    Mr Ilia broke down in tears as he relived the moment he realised his daughter was dead.

    He said he woke at 6am on March 23, and knocked on Christina’s door. When she didn’t reply he went into her room.

    He said: “I saw blue marks on her feet and I knew straight away she was passed away.”

    Mr Ilia said he first learned of SUDEP when Ms Wheeler carried out research on the internet.

    He said he could have done “anything he could” to protect her if he had been aware of the condition.

    Mr Ilia said he and Ms Wheeler confronted Christina’s specialist about why they had not been told of the condition.

    He said he did not tell everyone because of the effects the information might have on families.

    Mr Ilia said if the family had known about the condition they would have done everything possible to protect Christina – regardless of the cost.

    Earlier, Ms Wheeler told the inquiry that she had “no idea” why Christina’s room had been referred to as a crime scene by police officers.

    The inquiry, before Sheriff Alistair Duff, continues, and is expected to last up to four weeks.

  18. bob Says:

    true stories,maybe some would only give a name up face to face willingly at a public place such as if not cityhall,then what do you think about starbucks or similar?

  19. bob Says:

    D.a. To Probe Darby Borough Police
    By Nathan Gorenstein, Inquirer Staff Writer
    Posted: November 04, 1989

    The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office will investigate allegations of brutality and the quashing of traffic tickets for political favors by the Darby Borough police, prosecutor William H. Ryan Jr. said yesterday.

    Ryan said his decision was prompted by a two-part series in The Inquirer earlier this week, which reported the accounts of 20 people who have said in court records or interviews that they were violently attacked, harassed or humiliated by borough police.

    The stories also reported that hundreds of traffic violations had been destroyed or withdrawn as political favors, according to one current and two former Darby Borough officers.

    “I’ve read the articles, and we will begin an investigation of the allegations,” Ryan said.

    Borough Police Chief Robert F. Smythe yesterday dismissed most of the allegations of brutality as unfounded but said he would cooperate with Ryan.

    “I really welcome any agency that wants to come in and do what they want to do. We have to put this thing to rest once and for all,” Smythe said.

    No Darby Borough police officer has been reprimanded or disciplined in any of the incidents of alleged brutality or harassment, which date back to 1983.

    Smythe had declined to discuss the allegations until yesterday. In an interview, he said the police force harbored no violent officers.

    “If we have a bad cop in the town, we don’t want him,” he said. “I’ll be the first to see he (is off) the force. But we don’t have any.”

    There are 14 full-time and 12 part-time officers on the borough force, Smythe said.

    Smythe, chief since 1984, said he had “looked into” seven of the nine incidents detailed in The Inquirer, and said he is convinced there was no improper police conduct. “Some of those cases were looked into prior to the writing of the story, and we’re certainly going to look into” the others, Smythe said.

    Two others are still being reviewed, including charges by an 81-year-old Glenolden resident, Louis Ninni, who said that on the evening of July 11, 1987, he was chained to a cell door in the Darby jail, sprayed with water, unshackled and then left wet until morning.

    Ninni was arrested by a Norwood police officer after complaining about noise from a Folcroft swim club. It was Ninni’s first brush with the law.

    “If it did happen, disciplinary action will be taken against the man who did it,” Smythe said. “That’s not the elevation to which I hope to move this Police Department.”

    The other incident involved Dennis Delaney, 31, who said Darby Borough Officer Richard Galli Jr. beat him in jail while he was handcuffed. He ended up in the hospital with a gash above his right eye. Galli said in a police report that Delaney had fallen and cut himself.

    Smythe said he had also begun reviewing allegations of withdrawing traffic tickets for political favors.

    “I’m not aware of anyone in the borough fixing tickets for political or other reasons,” he said. “I think it’s the week before election. I think the whole thing is nothing more than to get at the present administration.”

    Smythe specifically defended Officer Galli, who is named in five civil suits brought against the Police Department. Galli is the son of borough GOP leader Richard Galli Sr. Neither is running for office.

    The younger Galli is “a very controversial person, I’ll admit it,” Smythe said. “Is he controversial because of the way he does his job, or the last name?”

    Smythe said Galli’s behavior on-duty had been investigated on different occasions by the FBI, the Delaware County district attorney and the Philadelphia police. “He’s been cleared every time.”

    “Galli’s biggest problem is that he makes more arrests than any officer in the department,” Smythe said. “Are people going to say nice things about him?”

    Ryan, Galli Sr. and Mayor Lewis Saraullo are Republicans. That will not have any effect on the investigation, Ryan said.

    Charles Sanders, a Democrat who served two terms as mayor in the 1970s and is challenging Saraullo, stood on the steps of the borough hall yesterday and called for an FBI civil rights investigation of the Police Department.

    After the news conference, Smythe and an unidentified Darby Borough officer arrived carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a Tech-9, a semiautomatic machine pistol.

    They said the guns, one seized in a drug raid and the other taken from a man arrested after a shoplifting incident, were symptomatic of what the Darby force faces on the street. “We’re doing the job, here’s the evidence,” said Smythe as he held up the AK-47.

    Saraullo and Smythe said none of the people involved in the incidents ever protested to borough officials. They suggested the lawsuits were filed in an attempt to win cash settlements from the borough’s insurance carrier.

    “Not one of these people called me to complain,” Saraullo said. “It’s a small town. Don’t you think we would have gotten a letter or a phone call?”

    In seven of the nine civil suits reported in The Inquirer, the complaints were settled out of court, with some payments to the plaintiffs.

    Saraullo and Smythe said the decision not to contest the suits was made by the borough’s insurance company, which wanted to save the expense of a court fight.

    “Every one of those settlements I opposed,” said Smythe. Last year, the borough changed insurance carriers so that it, rather than the insurance firm, would decide when to fight a case in court.

    About 11,500 people live in the borough in eastern Delaware County next to Southwest Philadelphia.

    In the case of Michael Abbott, 18, Smythe said there were witnesses that

    ”his injuries were already sustained before the arrival of the police . . .

    three friends of his broke his nose.”

    No such witnesses testified during Abbott’s assault trial that his nose had been broken before his arrival at the police station. A prisoner in the cell with Abbott testified that police took Abbott from the cell, and that when he returned “his face was all bruised” and his nose was bleeding.

    Abbott, jailed for public drunkenness on Nov. 2, 1985, said in a lawsuit that Officer Galli took him out of the cell and “brutally” beat him. Darby Borough paid Abbott $20,000 in an out-of-court settlement.

    Smythe denied a contention by former borough police Officer Joseph Olsen that Olsen’s hiring in 1982 was arranged by Galli Sr., in return for changing his registration to Republican and getting about 25 of his friends and neighbors to switch their voter registration to Republican.

    Smythe said that Galli Sr. had no say on police hiring. Smythe said Olsen’s hiring occurred before he became chief. Now, “it’s all done through civil service,” Smythe said. “There is an ordinance, there is a procedure, and they are hired from the top three.”

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