FALSE IMPRISONMENT -Imprisoned Against My Will

It was 7 days after 9/11, 2001 and I was on a manic high in the process of traveling around the countryside near Sheridan, Wyoming in a custom van.  I was not drinking, on drugs or under the influence of any illegal substances at the time and, I became stuck on a railroad track and couldn't rock my van off the tracks.  I suddenly looked up and saw a  coal train was rapidly approaching me ...like of TEAM OF IRON HORSES ON THE RUN!   I jumped out of my van and hid behind some metal boxes as the train slammed into the van knocking it off the track...the cowcatcher on the front of the train put a "V" in the front driver's door bending in the uni-frame construction of the van totalling the it..boy was I PISSED! As I had put many hours and thousands of dollars into the restoration of this van and now it was  totally destroyed!!!!!!!! 

When the engineer of Burlington, Northern and Santa Fe Railroad approached to see the damages, that had been done, I unloaded on him (My fuel mixture was a standard 1/3 #1 Crude diesel, 2/3 high octane gasoline and a gallon of Nitro Methane (used in dragster's) in TWO fuel tanks. A very potent mixture and highly flammable! By the way, I asked him for his name and he told me,  "JOHN SMITH", and wouldn't produce any ID when I asked him for it!

 So I yelled at him words that I couldn't take back in my manic mind......I verbally stated, "YOU could have blown the front off your train " Both off my gas tanks contain 'NITRO'!! You Stupid SOB!", and walked away....(wrong thing to say at a time of HIGH TERRORIST ALERT! Remember, only 7 days after 9/11!). The Conductor just stood there and NO ONE was getting any help to geet the sheriff's department to the scene that I knew of ,so I , not having a cell phone, took off walking to the  nearerst telephone to notify the county sheriff's department.

Needless to say, I was seized by the county sheriff''s deputies after trying to report the accident the only way I could, by walking several miles and then catching a ride with a farmer to the nearest telephone to call the accident into the sheriff's department, (duh!).  When they arrived, I was immediately handcuffed and taken to jail and then whisked off to court where they held a psychiatric hearing and they sent me to the Wyoming State Hospital, in  Evanston, Wyoming...I am a VIETNAM ERA VET and they didn't send me to the local VETERAN'S hospital in Sheridan, even tho I told them I was a VETERAN OF THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE!, no, they sent me to the STATE HOSPITAL in Evanston for civilians!

 I was transported  over two hundred miles in the back of a sheriff's car in handcuffs.,  I was taken inside of a long corridor and then  into an open area that had a glass room with four sides open to view with absolutely NO privacy to it ...this was to be my HOME for the next 90 days .....I was let out everyother evening to shower, just a few steps away, and then placed into "isolation" in a bare solid concrete 6' x 10' locked cell with a bare concrete "bed" and a single blanket, no books,  just a combination sink and toilet, and the window was facing a mountain, with a wire security screen covering the window that was about 4' off the floor.

Every  morning  I was woken up by a beating on my cell door, then yelled at,"step to the back of your cell facing the door", as the staff was going to enter to give me my breakfast tray and place it on the floor!  I would get up, sometimes dressed, sometimes undressed as the case maybe,  take the blanket off and go stand by the window, face the door, wait for the door to open,  then the food was placed on  the floor and the door was closed and the get my breakfast and then repeat the drill when I was finished with breakfast. I was then  put into the "glass box" where I had one hour of tv, from 12pm-1pm and then from 5pm -6pm again  the repeat with the shower and back into my isolated cell.

It was 45 days before I got privileges to go to the outside  in the courtyard once a week to walk around the enclosed area with an open roof that the sun rarely shone down in No one else was allowed in the area with me not even a guard--no one  to talk to, they just locked the door behind me and left me all to myself.

I had absolutely NO visitorsexcept an ill-fated one, the staff didn't even escort me any where. I was guided by voice commands from open and closed areas barred and locked,  and never allowed to come in personal contact  with any living human beings except this "one". I asked for a minister and instead got a Catholic Priest , (I am a RECOVERING  Catholic), every Sunday for one hour, whom, whether I liked it or not, tried to convert me to Catholicism, preached to me, a played guitar and sang to me.  I kept telling him not to come back,  but he still kept coming, torturing me mind. ( He WAS the  ONLY human being  that I had contact with the whole time I was there and he WOULD NOT listen to me!) ...........  Finally  after 90 days they put in front of the hospital board and were satisfied that I was NOT a danger to myself or OTHERS. Then, I was transferred back to the Sheridan County Jail and released without no "we're sorry, or "we made a mistake", they just drove me home and let me go. 

 NO LEGAL CHARGES WERE HELD AGAINST ME...they were ALL dropped WITHOUT PREJUDICE!  Now how is that for paranoia?  Take them to court..HELL NO! I didn't want anything more to do with them or that state.....I packed up what I could and moved out!  Still have nightmares about that glass box to this day!   And to make matters worse, BNSF "sued" me and my insurance company for damages to their Godamn "cowcatcher!

TacoTuesday TacoTuesday
56-60, M
2 Responses May 1, 2007

in all seriousness i'm certain, seeing as how you have nightmares of your stay in the glass box, this did not help your VET PTSD ... if anything it most likely spawned a whole new bout of it. with this in mind is there no recourse, despite the 9/11 situation? i'd pursue it to the fullest! but that's just me... i myself suffer from PTSD and it's no walk in the park. perhaps if i'd had some form of recourse i'd feel better? then again, it may have made matters worse ... dunno. regardless, i'm sorry for what you went through and hope your nightmares soon subside.

Oh My God! How can anything like this happen?<br />
This is such a horrible story! I'm so ******* sorry!