J. D. Heyes
February 11, 2012
(NaturalNews) The military spends tens of thousands of man hours annually and no small amounts of money training its personnel to seek help for any feelings of hopelessness or depression they may experience. The Army, especially, focuses on this issue because the suicide rate among its members has hit new highs in the wake of a decade of war in two separate theaters involving multiple deployments for millions of soldiers. That concern has also spilled over into the Guard and Reserve as well, since the Army has had to tap both of those branches in order to meet its personnel obligations for Iraq and Afghanistan.
With that in mind, when one D.C.- area Army reservist reached out for help recently, he was instead surrounded by dozens of police officers who searched and allegedly vandalized his home – all without a warrant, according to his lawsuit.
A Vet With a Gun!
Matthew Corrigan, who lives alone with his dog, says in his suit that he called what he thought was a military emotional support hotline in February 2010, but which actually turned out to be the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, after feeling unusually depressed for several days.
“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,” says the complaint.
About 4 a.m. the next morning, Corrigan awoke to a sea of police officers who had surrounded his home and were calling his name on 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,” says the complaint.
Corrigan says he then “turned on his phone and discovered that Officer Fischer of the 5th District was calling him, asking him to come out,” says the complaint. He complied around 4:50 a.m., locking the door behind him, and was immediately handcuffed and placed in the back of a S.W.A.T. vehicle.
No Time for the Constitution
A police lieutenant then asked Corrigan for keys to his place, to which the Army reservist replied, “There is no way I am giving you consent to enter my place.” The complaint then states that the officer, identified as one Lt. Robert Glover, allegedly replied, “I don’t have time to play this constitutional bullshit!” and ordered several other officers who belonged to the department’s Emergency Response Team enter Corrigan’s home.
While police were confiscating his guns, vandalizing his home and taking his dog to an animal shelter, they took Corrigan to a VA hospital, says the complaint. Moreover, officers from the department’s EOD – Explosives Ordinance Disposal – team also entered his home, though there was never any information about, or indication of, explosives in Corrigan’s home.
The result? Corrigan had to spend three days at the VA hospital receiving treatment because “having weapons pointed at him upon leaving his apartment triggered his PTSD hyper-vigilance and caused irregular heartbeat,” said the complaint.
Sixteen days later he returned to his apartment only to find the front door broken and unsecured, his place a mess: dresser drawers and contents strewn about; his eyeglasses broken and tossed in a corner; the electric stove still on; broken locked boxes from under his bed and closet; and the tropical fish in his 150-gallon aquarium dead.
He’s suing for $500,000.
Sources for this article include: