Latest News - Going to the VA
So, Ron Book, head of the homeless trust, where were you? Are you really in the business to "help" homeless people, or just make your wallet fatter?
By Brittany Wallman
A homeless, convicted child-killer arrested last week in downtown Fort Lauderdale was still in jail Sunday, but will likely be transferred to a hospital for military veterans, officials said.
Fort Lauderdale police found _____ hiding in bushes downtown and arrested him Friday. His alleged crime: a third-degree felony, failing to report his "transient'' address on his official state identification. Broward County Judge Jay Hurley set bond at $1,000 on Saturday.
_____, 60, served 15 years in prison in Illinois after confessing to the 1977 rape, stabbing and murder of 12-year-old Lisa Slusser of Waukegan, Ill. He was released in 2006, moved to Florida, and was imprisoned shortly thereafter, in May 2007, for failing to register as a sex offender.
Since his August release from a Miami prison, he has called the streets and parks of downtown Fort Lauderdale home.
_____ is properly registered with the state as a transient sex offender, but Fort Lauderdale police say he failed to update the address on his official identification. It still lists his mother's home address in Lake Placid, rather than "transient.''
Doug Brawley, chief assistant public defender in charge of mental health, said Sunday he had talked to the Veterans Administration hospital in Sunrise and to _____, in hopes the ex-con will get assistance to stop living on the streets.
"This guy really wanted help. I think this is going to be one of those rare stories that really will have a good outcome,'' Brawley said.
After his presence in Stranahan Park was publicized last week in the Sun Sentinel, police arrested _____ for the address felony. His case gave momentum to a city effort to clear the parks of homeless people who go there for food.
Police Chief Frank Adderley said he hoped the arrest would lead to a better solution for _____, who can't stay in shelters in Broward County because of his sex offender status.
"Maybe getting him the help he needs to address his mental issues is the answer,'' Adderley said Friday.
Brawley credited Adderley and the Veterans Administration for wanting to help _____. He could be transferred from jail to a bed in the V.A.'s "crisis unit'' as early as Tuesday, if a judge agrees, Brawley said. The State Attorney's office still must weigh in on whether the felony charge will be pursued.
As a U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam, _____ is eligible for benefits, Brawley said.
_____'s public defender in the murder case, now a judge, said in an interview last week that _____'s Vietnam experience was horrific, including civilian casualties and the deaths of his comrades. Brodsky said _____ has paranoid schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin