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By Gina Damron and Tammy Stables Battaglia
The Detroit Free Press

DETROIT - Pamela Griglen rushed into the hospital that June evening to be at the side of her bloodied, bandaged, diabetic husband.
At first, she thought Ernest Griglen Jr. of Detroit had been in a car accident.
"He said that they beat him," Pamela Griglen said Monday at a news conference, where she accused Allen Park and Dearborn police of mistaking her 59-year-old husband for a drunken driver during a hypoglycemic attack on June 15, then beating him to the point that part of his brain had to be surgically removed.
The couple's attorney, Arnold Reed, filed a lawsuit Monday in Detroit's U.S. District Court against the two police departments and five officers, seeking $20 million in damages.
But Allen Park and Dearborn police reports released Monday to the Free Press under a Freedom of Information Act request give a different version of what happened.
Police said they had to take a combative Ernest Griglen to the ground after he resisted being handcuffed following an earlier 5-mile car chase on Southfield Road.
In a report, Dearborn police acknowledge striking Griglen at least four times in an attempt to free his hands after seeing what one officer described as a black object and possible weapon on Griglen's waistband, and one officer hit him with pepper spray.
Allen Park Officer Tracie Brown, who is named in the lawsuit, states in her report that a Breathalyzer test administered to Griglen found no alcohol and that, after gaining control of Griglen, police found his insulin pump. But reports from both departments describe Griglen's injuries from the struggles as minor, little more than a bloody nose. Brown's report said he also had a bump on his forehead.
Reed said Monday that officers downplayed Griglen's condition. At Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, his wife said, Griglen complained that his head and legs hurt and then said he couldn't see.
About 15 minutes after Pamela Griglen arrived at the hospital, Ernest Griglen had slipped into a coma.
He's been on a ventilator since.

Celebration gone wrong
Earlier on June 15, Father's Day, the Griglens went out to celebrate, though none of their three kids -- twin 19-year-olds and a 15-year-old -- was with them.
The couple, married for 18 years, treated themselves to "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," some popcorn, candy and soda.
And when the movie was over, Pamela Griglen said, her husband dropped her off at Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn.
Later, as Ernest Griglen drove alone, Brown of the Allen Park police saw him stopped at a green light in the middle lane of Southfield just south of Pinecrest.
In her report, Brown said it was about 6 p.m. when Ernest Griglen yelled to her that he had gotten into an argument with his wife. Brown told him to pull over, but he drove off, swerving in and out of lanes.
Reed, the couple's attorney, said Ernest Griglen -- a former member of the U.S. Navy diagnosed with diabetes at age 25 -- was having a hypoglycemic attack because his blood sugar was dangerously low.

The officer's account
According to Brown's report, this is what happened next:
She turned on her lights and sirens as Ernest Griglen continued north on Southfield Road. When he finally pulled over, more than 5 miles away, Griglen refused to put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed and arrested. Then he started to run when Dearborn police arrived to assist.
Brown grabbed the back of Ernest Griglen's shirt to stop him and she and two Dearborn officers wrestled him to the ground as Griglen struggled.
According to a Dearborn police report, the officers had to use pepper spray on Griglen to force him to comply.
Once Ernest Griglen was handcuffed and picked off the ground, Brown reported that she noticed the insulin pump going into the side of his body.
According to the lawsuit, Griglen also has a handicap license plate and had a medical bag in his vehicle that contains emergency numbers.
After he was handcuffed, Ernest Griglen started to slur his words, prompting a Breathalyzer test, which found he hadn't been drinking, Brown's report said. She wrote that Griglen then said he wanted medical attention because he wasn't feeling good, so he was taken to a hospital.
At Oakwood, Griglen's blood sugar was tested and found to be at a "very dangerous" level, Brown wrote.

Concern but no comment
Dearborn city spokeswoman Mary Laundroche, director of the Department of Public Information, declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday, but said city officials were concerned for Ernest Griglen.
Allen Park Police Chief Dean Tamsen also wouldn't comment Monday.
"It's a sad event for everybody involved," he said.
Reed said he wants the police departments to feel the pain and anguish caused to the Griglens, but that no amount of money could change anything.
He said: "There is no justice."

Wire Service

Subscribing Member
2,134 Posts
No justice? How about recognizing the fact that officers are making split second decisions when faced with this combative person? Pamela Griglen needs to hold her husband accountable for his actions (or inaction, as it relates to his condition) in this situation. Had Mr. Griglen been in better control of his medical condition, this situation never would have reached a physical altercation. Even if this was an unexpected or abnormal drop in his blood sugar due to a malfuntion of his pump, officers only knew they had a disoriented, combative person on their hands. As soon as the officers realized his medical status, he was taken to a hospital, not left unattended.

Awhile back, I was the first on scene of a single-vehicle collision into a wall. A witness who was following the vehicle told me, "She's gotta be drunk. She was swerving all over the place." Fortunately for me, the driver was still conscious and I was able to ask her if she had been drinking. When she said no, I asked if she had medical conditions. Seconds before she blacked out, she was able to tell me that she was insulin-dependant, had taken her insulin that morning but didn't eat. A couple minutes later, as the medics put her on the gurney, she was combative. Three of us were able to pin her down on the gurney, while the medics started the IV and adminstered the dextrose. Had I arrived on scene just a minute or two later, not privy to the medical emergency, it could've been a different picture.

Bottom line is, officers do the best they can with the information presented. Pamela needs to face reality here.

Super Moderator
5,852 Posts
There but for the grace of God go I.

I had a diabetic drive his truck into the middle of the woods (without hitting any trees mind you) and pass out with the truck in gear. If I hadn't of stopped by to take a piss and noticed him, he woulda been dead in an hour. Lucky he had a medical bracelet on, my LT. wanted him arrested for OUI.
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