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Waynesboro police sued after sending man with ataxia to mental hospital for 6 days

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posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 03:39 PM
3 Waynesboro,VA cops sued after sending man to mental hospital after mistaking his ALS-like diagnosis for mental illness

Three Waynesboro police officers face a federal lawsuit after a mix-up that landed a man with a debilitating disease in a mental hospital. Gordon Goines of Waynesboro is also suing a clinician who allegedly misdiagnosed him. It's a case his attorney, John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, says exposes a dangerous trend.

Goines suffers from cerebellar ataxia, which is similar to ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. He called the police because he thought someone was stealing his cable and from there he found himself handcuffed and in isolation.

“In effect, this man was punished for having a disease.” Whitehead stated.

According to the 16-page lawsuit filed in federal court earlier this month, on May 15, 2014 Goines' TV was disconnecting and freezing throughout the day. He called Comcast who, after investigating the issue, suggested he call the police.

Goines lives right across from the Waynesboro Police Department. Even though his condition makes it difficult to move at times, he walked from his building to the police department, hoping they could help him out. Goines says the officers walked him back to his house and that's when he suddenly found himself in handcuffs.

Unfortunately this is turning into a very bad trend. Police are thinking they are mental health experts, when they truly have no clue. The woman named in the suit has no license to practice medicine and was still learning, apparently she's the one who told the cops he needed to be placed in a mental ward.

The police in their "infinite wisdom" concluded that Goines was "having irrational issues and hearing things" when he complained about the clicking noise in his TV. The police never bothered to turn his TV on, even though Comcast determined a neighbor might be stealing his cable, making the clicking noise in his TV.

“At the time of the seizure, transportation and detention of Goines, none of the defendants had probable cause to believe that Goines had committed any crime, nor did any defendant have probable cause to believe that Goines was a danger to himself or others, nor did any defendant have any other legitimate lawful basis to seize, arrest or detain him,” the complaint states.

In custody, Goines told officials about his cerebellar ataxia, which a worker called “shrunken cerebellum,” and provided the name of his physician, who never was contacted.

He also was accused of appearing “disoriented as to time” by workers who had confiscated his watch and cell phone.

Now, if I don't have a clock, I too have a hard time telling time. Massive DUH! And if someone that you think has mental issues and they tell you they have a neurological disorder and give you their doctor's name, how do you not check that!????!! Seriously? He should have been out that first night! Absolute insanity that I keep hearing these stories, and worse, that there are more and more of them popping up. I would only hope that MSM will start reporting on these stories more so people can see what is really going on.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 03:59 PM
As a former unwilling "customer" of psychiatric detention I can vouch for the particulars in this case being representative of an ominous trend by using mental health facilities as a "catch all" solution for those who seem irrational but have committed no crime. I was unaware as a teen that acting strange was a criminal activity but had to learn about how authority works the hard way. (yes, I'm secretly bonkers!)

I live pretty close to where this happened but this is the first I've heard of it. I hope he wins his suit and whoever was stealing his cable gets caught and prosecuted.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:01 PM
The cops were way out of line on this one. I hope he wins. I also hope that he doesn't suffer any form of harassment or other retribution for suing.

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:02 PM
I know someone very dear with Ataxia it has a huge effect on one's cognitive as far as Physical it's huge...

Ataxia: Poor coordination and unsteadiness due to the brain's failure to regulate the body's posture and regulate the strength and direction of limb movements. Ataxia is usually due to disease in the cerebellum of the brain, which lies beneath the back part of the cerebrum.

edit on 17-4-2015 by ATF1886 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 17 2015 @ 05:58 PM
a reply to: Anyafaj

It's unfortunate Mr. Goines was treated like that. It's unfortunate and just plain wrong.

Here's a link to the actual complaint filed by his attorney: Link to complaint.

He deserves to sue and deserves a nice pay day, as these LEO's and the "clinician" trampled Mr. Goines' rights and failed to diagnose him appropriately (or adequately) nor did they do a darn thing about the cable thieving neighbor!

These incidents just keep getting more and more ridiculous by the day.

edit on 17-4-2015 by lovebeck because: (no reason given)

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