Reader BH writes:
The Waukegan, Illinois Police Department received a telephone call on February, 2, 2015. The female caller, later identified as “Roselynn” stated that her boyfriend, former US Army tanker veteran, Alfred DeVost, had threatened to commit suicide. The Waukegan PD sprang into action and immediately showed up at veteran DeVost’s apartment where he allowed them to enter. He denied stating anything concerning his possible suicide and that’s when Officer Pantoja decided to try tact, asking DeVost to voluntarily submit to a mental evaluation, which he agreed to do. You see where this is headed, right? . . .
The responding police officer asked if Alfred would VOLUNTEER to be transported to the local hospital for a mental health evaluation. Alfred AGREED and was transported without being handcuffed or ever being in the custody of Waukegan Police. Officer Pantoja clearly writes in her official police report that “Alfred agreed to be transported to Vista West (a local hospital) for a psychological evaluation.”
Without a due process hearing or probable cause, Officer Pantoja then admits in writing that “At Vista West, I completed an involuntary committal form and turned it over to Vista medical staff.” When exactly did Alfred’s volunteering to be evaluated become grounds for an involuntary committal? What medical license does Officer Pantoja hold that empowers her to diagnose and conclude that a man cooperating in every way with a police officer is now subject to involuntary committal at a hospital?
Officer Pantoja returns to Alfred’s home and obtains the consent of Alfred’s girlfriend, again not his wife to search the home for Alfred’s lawfully owned firearm.
Once at the hospital, DeVost was examined by a physician was medically cleared and released to his own care and custody.
But his firearms? Seized by the police without benefit of consent of the owner or as a result of a search warrant, they are in the custody of the Waukegan PD who refuse to give them back. They have even suggested that he get a lawyer and sue to get them.
That’s where Attorney David A. Zipp comes in. He was outraged by the jack-booted practices of the Waukegan PD and has sued on DeVost’s behalf and started a GoFundMe account to help pay for the lawsuit. If you have a couple of bucks to help a never before arrested, partially disabled vet who served all of us for ten years in the US Army, stop by and throw some bucks his way.