Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City (Part 7 by Guest Blogger Daniel Horne)
Daniel Horne spent almost a year in Tent City. He is a business executive, husband, and father of two. Following a car accident, Daniel was not charged with drunk driving, but with aggravated assault – in Arizona’s legal system a car can be classified as a weapon you assault someone with. He is the author of the book, Accidental Felons and blog.
Then there was Russo, an ex-Marine Vietnam Veteran who suffered from a number of conditions related to his service in Vietnam during the 1960s. Russo took a number of psychiatric medications and he drank heavily. Russo had spent half his life since Vietnam in various veterans’ hospitals around the United States. The last one was in Phoenix.
He was going to prison for having a particularly bad day in his unfortunate life. Russo had lost his job that day and decided it was an acceptable reason to get stinking drunk. Russo had never been to prison. His crime was caused by a combination of prescription drugs and alcohol. One prescription drug reduced the chronic flashbacks of combat in Vietnam, and he ingested the other to numb himself unconscious. He had been riding home, sitting alone and semi-comatose in a seat on the local bus when he began having nightmares. An elderly woman heard his anguished mumblings and watched him moving about in the seat. She became concerned and woke Russo up. The first thing Russo saw upon opening his eyes was a strange face near his. He slugged the unfortunate woman and she fell to the bus floor unconscious.
The Russo I met wouldn’t intentionally hurt a little old lady. He was not a violent man; he was a Vet who needed help and perhaps different medication. In the pod, Russo was the librarian, having ten to fifteen old, worn-out paperbacks and any number of ragged magazines in his cell all the time. He was a quiet, soft spoken man who looked down a lot and bothered no one. Like a number of men who had patriotically serve their nation in time of war, Russo was missing in action for life. I vowed to order Russo some new books from Amazon.com if I made it to Work Furlough.
Here's the link for Part 6: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2009/11/sheriff-joe-arpaios-tent-city-part-6-by.html
Here's the link to Daniel’s website and book: http://accidentalfelons.com/
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Shaun P. Attwood