Skip to comments.Man Calls Suicide Hotline; Arrested, Cops Trash House Looking for Gun (DC)
Posted on 02/07/2012 5:29:03 AM PST by marktwain
A depressed Army reservist who made a phone call for help says dozens of police responded by surrounding his home and arresting him, vandalizing and searching his place without a warrant, seizing his dog and killing his tropical fish.
Matthew Corrigan, who lives alone with his dog, sued the District of Columbia in D.C. Federal Court.
Confronted with a massive police presence after his plea for help, Corrigan says, he denied officers permission to enter his house, but they entered and trashed it anyway, saying, "I don't have time to play this constitutional bulls**t!"
Corrigan says the debacle started on Feb. 2, 2010.
"Corrigan telephoned what he believed to be the 'Military's Emotional Support Hotline' because he was depressed and had not slept for several days," the complaint states.
"The number Corrigan called was in fact the National Suicide Hotline. When he stated that he was a veteran, he was asked if he had firearms, to which he said yes. He said nothing about being suicidal or using a firearm or threatening anyone. After a short conversation, Corrigan hung up, turned off the phone, took prescribed sleeping medication, and went to bed.
"At approximately 4 a.m. in the morning of Feb. 3, 2010, Corrigan awoke because he heard his name being called over a bullhorn. There were floodlights outside his front and back doors and an estimated 8 police officers in the back yard and 20 in the front yard.
"Corrigan turned on his phone and found that Officer Fischer of the 5th District was calling him, asking him to come out, which he did at about 4:50 a.m., locking the door behind him. He was handcuffed and put in the back of a SWAT truck.
"When Officer John Doe I (upon information and belief, Officer John Doe I is Lieutenant Robert Glover) asked Corrigan for the key to his apartment, he informed the officer: 'There is no way I am giving you consent to enter my place.' Officer John Doe I stated: 'I don't have time to play this constitutional bullshit!' and ordered that Officers John Does II-V, members of the Emergency Response Team (ERT), enter the apartment." (Parentheses in complaint).
Corrigan says police took him to a VA hospital, broke his front door and entered his apartment without a warrant, where they confiscated his guns, vandalized his place and took his dog to an animal shelter.
"Although the officers had no information that there were explosives in Corrigan's home and the home had been secured, John Does VI-X, the Explosives Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team, entered Corrigan's home without a warrant and searched for explosives," the complaint states. "The EOD team opened closed containers and used X-ray equipment to search closed containers.
"After the initial warrantless search, the EOD team brought in a dog to search for firearms.
"During the search of Corrigan's home, John Does II-XV seized three firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition for those firearms and others. The three firearms were a rifle, which was unloaded and trigger-locked in a locked hard-side container under his bed, a hand gun which was in a hard case in a drawer in the closet, and another handgun which was in a zipped bag on the shelf at the bottom of a clothes rack (pillows and blankets were on top and next to the bag). The locked cases were taken but the broken latches were left on the floor. The ammunition was stored in a sealed plastic crate and the rest was in boxes, in their original packing, in a milk crate, which was stored under a sleeping bag in a utility closet.
"Corrigan's eyeglasses were broken and thrown in a corner." (Parentheses in complaint).
Corrigan says he spent three days in the VA hospital, because "having weapons pointed at him upon leaving his apartment triggered his PTSD hyper-vigilance and caused irregular heartbeat."
After he was released from the hospital and determined not to be a suicide risk, Corrigan says, police arrested him and put him in jail, where he remained for almost 2 weeks.
"When Corrigan returned to his apartment 16 days after being seized, he found that John Does I-XV had left the front door unlocked and unsecured, had left the electric stove on, had cut open every zipped bag, had dumped every box and drawer, had broken locked boxes from under the bed and the closet, and emptied shelves into piles in each room. All his tropical fish in his 150 gallon aquarium were dead."
Corrigan seeks more than $500,000 in damages for constitutional violations.
He is represented by Richard Gardiner, of Fairfax, Va.
.’ Officer John Doe I stated: ‘I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit!’
Well, he’s a veteran, so naturally he is a suspected terrorist on the Homeland Security watchlist and requires action such as this.
Seems to me, once he exited the home, and locked it, the need to search the home was moot.
“If you admit to a crime on a hot line, is that probable cause to search without a warrant? “
What ‘crime’ was that?
The only thing I read was he was ‘depressed’.
Now, as far as I know, being depressed and seeking help isn’t a crime.
Don’t forget. He didn’t intentionally call the ‘Suicide Hotline’.
“Corrigan telephoned what he believed to be the ‘Military’s Emotional Support Hotline’ because he was depressed and had not slept for several days,” the complaint states. “
So does that mean that since he did call it, he is guilty of something?
Apparently and wrongfully so.
But they did kill the fish.
They didn’t care about the “Rights” of the people back then and they don't care now!
“Live Free or Die”
—seizing his dog and killing his tropical fish. —
Hmmm. I see they are changing their tactics.
Whomever wrote this article did a terrible job.
“After he was released from the hospital and determined not to be a suicide risk, Corrigan says, police arrested him and put him in jail, where he remained for almost 2 weeks.
Could the writer not read an arrest warrant? On what charge was the man arrested? It would be nice to know!
Shoot the dog. He is Got damned lucky they didn’t shoot him.
In Maryland right next door to DC a police sniper shot and killed a veteran in a situation almost identical to this.Except the veteran wouldn’t come out of the house.
I hope he wins his case, but even if he does it will take years to get DC to pay up.
never call the police unless you want someone arrested or worse; protect and serve is no longer the motto
They wonder why we are angry.
You can bet that Officer "John Doe I" (and his union) would be quick to assert and demand that his own rights be upheld should he be called to task for his actions.
Things are falling apart around us.
Sounds like the officer should find another line of work.
Resets the rules of engagement, doesn't it?
Some pigs definitely think they are above the law.
This guy didn't call the police. He (unintentionally) called a suicide prevention hotline. We are forced to assume that a worker at the hotline called the cops.
The moral of this story is to always refuse to answer any questions about your firearms, no matter who is asking. I wouldn't tell an anonymous voice on the other end of the phone what my bank account numbers are...why would I tell them if I have a gun?
I agree with you, I was being sarcastic. The old rules in America no longer exist.
This veteran was calling a hot line for what he thought was for emotional support for military. This is now the era of Obama. Veterans are on the hot list for terrorism as well as “right wingers”, etc. The Constitution is passe, and don’t be surprised if there are more and more incidents like this in the news to put a chill on those who are not worshiping The One.
I thought jack booted thugs shoot the canines first. That was the MO in ‘93.
every single time I go to the V.A. Hospital for any kind of appointment, I am asked in the pre-screening if I am having any emotional problems or feelings of depression. My response is always this: I am a Christian. What would I have to be distressed about? Shuts them up every time!
To be fair, the fish probably died because they weren’t fed or the tank maintained for 16 days. The officers probably didn’t intentionally kill them.
And every man, every one of them jack-booted thugs should be dead. If they weren't shot by the man they invaded, they should now get the death penalty for denial of fundamental constitutional rights under color of law.
This crap is going to stop, or we are going to have a civil war.
But I’d still check them for bullet holes.
Yep, and that’s when all hell broke loose.
There was a story awhile back about doctors being required to ask their patients if there were any guns in the house. Don’t know where it was or the outcome, but that is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of.
According to the article, they killed his fish. They saved his dog for next time. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson; To wit: The police are not your friend[s]. Their function is to keep the slaves in their place.
yeah I remember when our pediatrician asked about guns in our home and I did not like it
Fish would eat one another so some would still be alive. My guess is that they were poisoned by something the cops opened up and left lying around.
Reservist: "Hey, I'm depressed."
Police: "Oh yeah? WELL WE WILL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO BE DEPRESSED ABOUT!!!"
“the fish probably died because they werent fed or the tank maintained for 16 days. The officers probably didnt intentionally kill them.”
Negligent ichthycide as well as civil rights violations!
One of the "Furher Adolph Obama's Brownshirts"?
A former primary care physician asked me if I had guns in my home. I declined to answer. They then delivered a little speech about gun safety and children. I then mentioned that I don't have any kids. That shut them right down.
Illegal search and seizure!
He may not get his guns back, but he can’t found guilty of any criminal charges that are based on this illegal search and seizure.
I have not faced that questiong, yet. Good answer though albeit I think just responding “it is non of yours or the governments business.” is the proper answer. Remember, when they start inputing all that health related info into national data bases. This is setting the plate for the Stassi to come seize your guns for your own safety and that of “the Children”.
I went in one time to a quick care clinic for a serious cut that required stitches. The admitting nurse started asking me questions about sex; the number and sex of partners, frequency, even positions. I was flabbergasted and I finally said "Really? What does this have to do with me and my injury?" Not a particularly clever response, but the nurse skipped the questions.
I hope it's a lot more, after what he went through.
I changed OBs when mine asked me about guns, I said yes, he mentioned the danger of guns. I said it was very good rape prevention, and as an OB, that was a far greater danger for a college aged female living where she could afford to live (not great place, but could save up money).
The other problem with this case is the common perception: call suicide hotline, police come, stick you in mental hospital, and if you’re not crazy, you go to jail.
The police over-reaction will result in lots of people NOT calling for help, ever.
Or the pump was unplugged.
The trouble is these questions always hit when you are least expecting them or are distracted, like when you are sick and need a doctor. My natural inclination is to tell the truth, but you can’t afford to be honest and open in Amerika these days. My new policy is to volunteer no information to anyone, and when I am compelled to give information I give as little as possible.
The only way that is possibly a victory is if he actually committed a crime. Without him being guilty of something it's nothing more than gun theft and harrassment.
This is an interesting case. Does information given because of a question by someone on a suicide hotline give the police probable cause? It would seem to me that protecting the individual’s life would be the limit of their authority.
Wasn’t the DC ban on owning a gun held to be unconstitutional?
I really feel sorry to the guy. I hope is lawyer is a good one. The lawyer should also enjoin the suicide hotline for breach of confidentiality.
First rule of gun ownership. Don’t talk about your guns.
They still have time for that. The dog hasn’t been put down yet.
Ummm... Dear kindly Officer Jackboots:
That "constitutional bulls**t" is THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND! If you claim to be a "law enforcement official" then you had better damn well MAKE TIME for it, or suffer ALL the consequences for NOT doing so, both 'official' and 'unofficial'...
Good grief! Pretty extreme consequences for being depressed and not sleeping for several days. Brought to you by the same folks that now call Maj. Hassan’s killing spree at Ft Hood “workplace violence”. From one extreme to the other. Hope Corrigan wins this case.
"To Protect and Serve" Yeah, right.
"To Punish and Enslave" - just like Barricade/Mustang cop car in Transformers 1 - is more like it.
Wow... I’m often one to give cops the benefit of the doubt, if any, and credit for a difficult job— but not here. These guys are out of control and need to be slapped down hard. I think even a first year law student could drive a Mack Truck through this case.
"To Protect and Serve" Yeah, right.
"To Punish and Enslave" - just like Barricade/Mustang cop car in Transformers 1 - is more like it.
It certainly clarifies the ROE that the State has in place against us peons.
They keep pushing and pushing, yet will act oh-so-surprised should the roles reverse...