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Mathew Corrigan is an Army reservist who was battling depression and insomnia. Wanting some help with the problems, he called what he thought was the military’s emotional support help line. Instead, he mistakenly called a suicide hotline. When he told them he was a vet, they asked if he owned guns. He confided that yes, he did, ended the conversation a short time later and went to bed. A prescription pill helped him get to sleep. Until, that is, he was rudely woken by the sound of his name being shouted over a bull horn. . .

As tells it, the hotline had alerted the DCPD. They then deployed what appeared to be most of the city’s SWAT assets who had set up floodlights and surrounded his house.

“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.”

As a result of the incident, Lt. Glover will probably have to make some more time for constitutional bullshit in the not too distant future. His shock troops trashed Corrigan’s apartment looking for his guns and ammo (all of which were confiscated) then scanned the place for explosives. In an unusual and refreshing turn for a SWAT squad, they refrained from automatically shooting Corrigan’s dog, instead turning the pooch over to a shelter.

Corrigan spent two days in a VA hospital. Once they determined that he really wasn’t suicidal, he was arrested and spent two weeks in jail.

“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 has filed suit against District of Columbia seeking $500,000 in damages for constitutional violations.

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    • He’s a reservist, the army’s got his address. Also he may have given it to the person he called, or he called from a landline… not a hard thing to get.

    • I hope Corrigan recovers full damages. It seems likely. Always know whom you are speaking with! The hotline call is instantly traced if the number does not show on caller ID. Emergency hotlines have a broader-access caller ID system for local calls, they say. I actually know someone who had a related experience. A physician suffering depression and feeling suicidal, the person’s friends counseled X to call a hotline and get some help. From a nice DC hotel X called the hotline. Having no weapons, X said exactly the wrong thing, claiming X had a weapon with which to do self-harm, which was not true but was drama-queen BS intended to get the hotline person to take them seriously and engage. (Idiotic…) . Result? Police arrived at the hotel room in three minutes. X was involuntarily institutionalized for two weeks, and assaulted during that hospitalization. If you need help, consult a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist immediately and don’t be a drama queen, else you’ll get much more than you expected. Don’t wait until the middle of the night. Don’t, if possible, rely on free services. Just the way life is.

      • STFU applies to all dealings with the government not just DGU’s. No matter what they say, they are not there to help you, they are there to do their job(cover their ass). Don’t lie, just don’t offer any information they don’t need to know. and as Ropingdown said “Don’t, if possible, rely on free services. Just the way life is.” because if it’s free there is probably a mandatory reporting requirement.

  1. Curious to see how the message of “I’m depressed and can’t sleep” transformed into “dangerous suicidal vet with guns and possible explosives” and what agencies that message traversed from the national suicide hotline down to the DC police ERT.

  2. $500,000 sounds about right as long as the goons who did it are also fired and then burned at the stake.

  3. In reference to the photo, did anyone notice when the police/atf/fbi/dea/etc switched from their traditional black ninja suits to these new paramilitary-like green ones?

    • A lot of SWAT teams that have to cover less urban areas never adopted the Black “Ninja” suits. Alachua County SO so long as I have seen them in action never used them.

  4. When I was 16 I was having serious medical problems that prevented me from going to school. The school district didnt believe I was really sick and I woke up one morning with the school social worker and two police officers standing over my bed. The school district decided that I belonged in a mental hospital because I wasnt going to school and sent me to one against my will. At the hospital I never even spoke to a doctor and all the other kids were there for behavioral problems not actual mental illness. I just played cards with these kids for a week then went home. I am now 18 and according to colorado state law I will never be able to own a gun. If I had commited a felony Iwould have a chance of having my record exponged and owning firearms, but because I was involintarily commited to a mental hospital I will neber be able to own a gun despite the fact that I have been shooting since I was 8 years old and started competition shooting when I was 14. You know your ranting when your comment is almost as long as the article you just read : P

    • I gotta ask, 1) where were your parents in all this? It shouldn’t have taken a week to get a doctor (real MD type) to write a note that allowed you to stay home if necessary, and 2) why didn’t your family sue the pants off of the school district, the lcal PD, the mental institution where you were sent, and each and every person that had a part in you being essentially imprisioned? Again, you were a minor, where were your parents?

    • Were you diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder? Are you currently being treated for one? Regardless of the answers, you really should speak with an attorney to see whether (1) you’re actually banned from owning firearms and (2) whether there is a way to get your rights back.

  5. Wow just…wow is all I have to say
    What a JOKE, I hope this guy wins every penny he is looking for.

    They had no right to search his residence or confiscate his property, I guess this guy can count himself lucky they did not just storm in and shoot him as he slept with some of the recent police trends.

    • Cant edit for some reasons but also: This is eactly why many vets won’t seek any help, they are automatically assumed to be dangerous by the police and are treated like some kind of a wild animal when they seek help.

  6. So now the SWAT ninjas have descended from killing the dogs to killing the fish. Well, I guess that when SWAT is involved, either a human or a family pet (or both) has to die or it’s just no fun at all. Way to go, SS bozos!

  7. What I don’t get is why he spent 2 weeks in jail? The VA hospital I understand as he was having mental issues after the police raid. But on what charges did they hold him? Not consenting to a search? Not complying with police?

    • If there’s a danger of suicide—whether real or perceived—the state can commit someone involuntarily for two weeks.

      • Committed I could understand, but jail for 2 weeks? I hope he wins his suit but it seems to me that their are some statutes that protect municipalities from being sued for these kinds of things.

      • 2 weeks? Not quite, 72 hours is the max a state institution can hold someone against their will without judicial review.

        • Yep. And if you care about the person, retain an outside psychiatrist and counsel immediately, and notify the holding facility of these consultants’ names, addresses, and phones. Have them present at the brief hearing. Demand visitation to encourage the ‘patient,’ if you’re sure the patient would not be upset by your presence.

        • It may differ from state to state but just having to had to deal with this with my mother, she was admitted to a ward for 15 days and the police in CT can do this if they feel with the help of social workers that the person may harm themselves or others. In CT, the hotline would not be enough, he would need to visited by two social workers and local PD trained in these matter to make determination.

  8. Wait was this guy living in dc? How does he have guns there? Yes, I know it’s legal but we all know the regs make that more than difficult.

    • Joe, I used to handle 1983 cases back in the day. Since then, by judicial fiat, the predicates have been so limited that such cases are rarer than hen’s teeth.

      It boils down to this. If there is a non-1983 remedy, federal courts will not entertain a 1983 case.

  9. here’s a fancy equation…

    (Paranoid hotline) + (Paranoid DCPD) + (potential Veteran/psycho is good for media ratings) + (gullible masses who eat up media garbage) = (No 2A) + (Dramatic Court Case)

    …Got it?

  10. So let me get this straight: Jared Lee Loughner, a raving psycho, gets to walk among us until he kills a whole crowd of people, while an army reservist who felt sad is treated like, well, Jared Lee Loughner and tossed into the lockup. Is that about it?

    • What an effective summary of the situation. I think it’s just evidence of the ever-growing industry-wide preference for picking low-hanging fruit. I’m frankly astounded that people who call for depression counseling blithely answer questions like “do you have any guns?” with any answer but ‘I have no use for guns!’. It must be part of the depression syndrome? Since Corrigan was a reservist, however, he probably had a predisposition to misunderstand the nature of government-offered services and authority. He probably thought of himself as a good guy? Not long ago we had an excellent local PD detective who lost it and slapped his wife. Bye bye guns. Goodbye assets in divorce court. Brutal.

  11. So for years I have been telling my Marines to call the help lines that are provided to us, assuring them that the information they share will never get back to the command.

    I have my drill this weekend and I will be sure to inform them to never, ever, ever, call any government help line, especially ones for veterans, because they might send a swat team to destroy your home.

    This country is really getting to be unrecognizable.

    • The post-WWII growth in power, budgets, and arrogance has been astounding. At this point the various police levels interact with each other, partner up with large corporations and various federal units, and the resulting behavior has been organized heavily around money. There is simply no equivalence between someone with highly-skilled and motivated counsel ($), political connections ($), and enough education to not hurt their own case. Actually, this sounds a lot like the US in 1890, as well. Have you every read General Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket”? I was a soldier, and have respect for Marines, but it never hurts to gain a broader perspective.

  12. The thing is – he thought he called the military emotional support line and got the crisis hotline instead. I don’t know how that happened, but that was the difference.

    Someone at the hotline called the police thinking he was suicidal. Let’s assume they were really trying to help someone because they don’t understand veterans, PTSD issues, and gun ownership and thought vet+gun+feeling depressed = danger. In all fairness, those who are depressed are often, although not always, also suffering from suicidal tendencies.

    The kicker is the D.C. Gestapo sending their SWAT team out in full-on attack mode. That was where things went wrong.

    I really hope this doesn’t cause vets to not seek help for PTSD issues. If they do, the DC Gestapo has (more) blood on it’s hands.

  13. The tragedy of these sorts of things are the people who will now say “I think I could use some help, but I’m more afraid of the consequences of asking for help than I am of my problems”.

  14. he will get nowhere with the lawsuit. what they did was wrong, but the way the laws are written, you have to prove they knew you were innocent and did this for some alterior reason.
    this country has been unrecognizable for a decade.

  15. Ironic. Of all places Washington DC our capital to hear SWAT spitting on the US Constitution. Yeah, I know that I’m an idealist. “Resistance is futile”.

  16. After determining he isn’t suicidal, why did they then arrest him and put him in jail for two weeks?

  17. “Constitutional bullshit.”

    Doesn’t that just say it all when it comes to modern policing? Shame that a soldier has to come home from service and deal with jackbooted thugs.

    Remember people, soldiers returning home are domestic terrorist threats, so say our beloved overlords!

      • no…there was an episode of the next generation with a plot like that…
        except they had genetically and chemically altered the soldiers …the problem was they could never “turn off” the training and enhancements that had been done to them…they responded with deadly force to any perceived threat..
        so the planet confined them all to a small moon…

  18. If he was competent to carry a loaded weapon 24/7 in a sandy hellhole, he’s sure as hell competent to own guns. This whole police response is pathetic, and doubly so since they had to get their annual wang reassurance at the expense of someone who actually did their job, for a living, instead of getting paid to violate the rights of citizens and make a huge mess for no reason.

    Not tough enough to be actual warfighters, so they joined the SWAT team to play tacticool dress-up. Buncha little girls. I hope they all get sued into the stone age. And beaten with their own tactical batons.

  19. The mental health system in this country is already terrible, combining it with government/legal agencies and personnel is even worse. If I had the time, I could tell you all an awful story of the entire process of committal, “healing” at a facility, and restoration of 2A rights. A story of how government involvement hindered this process, especially since the guy involved was not violent towards anyone else. A small taste: the story involves leg shackles and being chained up in the back of a police van for a 3 hour drive starting around midnight to the “nearest” mental health facility. Not to mention, the government involuntarily committed him after he went to the nearest hospital to voluntarily get help.

    Oh and another thing, if you are depressed or suicidal, please research a nearby facility and check yourself in or seek out a private psychologist/social worker/anyone not tied to a governmental program. If you are poor then I suggest using local government funded health care, but make no mention of suicidal thoughts. The involuntarily committal process is based around thoughts, not actions, if you tell anyone you even “think” about suicide, you will be committed. Do not call a hotline or a hospital for seeking help, only call them for information “to help a friend”. It is in your own best interest (and a lot cheaper) to self-advocate and do as much work as you can by yourself. This is apt because if you want to get better you have to change yourself. You don’t have to be sad all the time, just talking with a professional could reveal an underlying cause that you may be unaware of.

    • ” if you tell anyone you even “think” about suicide, you will be committed. ”

      Of course. We need more peasants to work the fields and provide his lordship with taxes – can’t have them eliminating themselves from the tax pool.

    • “The involuntarily committal process is based around thoughts, not actions, if you tell anyone you even “think” about suicide, you will be committed. Do not call a hotline or a hospital for seeking help, only call them for information “to help a friend”.”

      This is a tricky issue, and the line between over and underreacting is hard to define. If you call a hotline and say you’re suicidal, a number of things might happen: first they’ll do a general assessment to see if you’re actually suicidal, or if you just need to talk to someone/get some resources. Next, if the threat is more significant, they may dispatch out the police or a psychiatric emergency service, or have you go to the ER. Either way, you’ll end up talking to professionals who will determine the actual threat. Depending on that, you may or may not be committed to an inpatient unit. Most inpatient units don’t want patients who aren’t a high risk– they’re generally understaffed, and insurance doesn’t want to cover inpatient treatment for something that can be done on an outpatient basis, like therapy.

      I disagree about not telling a hotline you’re suicidal. I’d make sure it’s the right hotline though, one that uses counselors to screen the calls, like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

  20. shocked? i’m not, DC cops are way intense. those that live out side the city in my part of MD drive like complete jerks too.

  21. I think he’s being pretty damn generous asking 500,000. I’d have started out somewhere about 3 million and let them talk it down a bit.

  22. I hope his law suit gains traction and he wins. About the only way to get any attention from governmental units.

  23. If he wins the lawsuit, not only will the taxpayers have to foot the bill, but you can be sure absolutely no-one in will even get their wrists slapped.

    • He should just make a call to some of his military buddies and let them swing by the station and give them a taste of their own medicine.

  24. Hmmm, better read Taylor Caldwell’s ‘The Devil’s Advocate’. Maybe Lt. Glover is part of the new Minutemen.

  25. Why do SWAT teams go out of their way to destroy someone’s home?

    And this is a great example of why you should always refuse to answer the gun question.

    • For some unfathomable reason, they appear to believe that destruction of property will distract others from noticing their extremely small genitalia.

  26. He’s not going to win. He was an unstable man, armed to the teeth, calling a suicide hotline… he brought this on himself. He’s lucky to be alive. You don’t fuck with DC cops. They deal with scum all day long, they’ve got zero patience for bullshit.

  27. The wheels on the moving van go round and round. Move to VA, they have the US Constitution over there.

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