Charges Dropped Against 9/11 Rescue Worker due to Hero Status

A Long Island judge has dismissed charges of driving under the influence and illegally possessing a weapon against a 9/11 rescue worker, citing the man’s status as an “American hero.”

Shortly after the planes hit the World Trade Center, defendant Michael McCormack, a major in the National Guard, was called to the scene. At home in Suffolk County while on Workers’ Compensation following a construction accident, he arrived at Ground Zero around noon, about three hours after the second crash.911 flag raising Charges Dropped Against 9/11 Rescue Worker due to Hero Status
McCormack later told reporters that he spent the next eight days futilely looking for survivors. On his final day, McCormack came across a red piece of cloth buried under the rubble. As he tells it, he lifted the rocks, believing the fabric to be a woman’s dress. Rather, the red was a stripe on the flag that came to be known as the “World Trade Center flag.” (Other accounts, including a Congressional Record report cited by Hensley, state that the flag was found four days earlier, on Sept. 14.)

Five years later, in September 2006, McCormack was arrested in two separate incidents.
On Sept. 12, a police investigation of his house uncovered an unlicensed firearm. The reasons for the investigation remain murky, though McCormack told one reporter that the officers were responding to complaints of a “chemical smell” emanating from his house.
Twelve days later, McCormack was pulled over for driving erratically. He later tested positive for Alprazolam, the anti-anxiety drug most commonly marketed as Xanax.
In separate informations, prosecutors charged McCormack with fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.
He moved to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice.

Judge Hensley, citing McCormack’s work at Ground Zero and the symbolic significance of the flag he uncovered, has granted the motion.

The judge also dismissed the Vehicle and Traffic Law violation, without explanation.

I really am disturbed by this and I’m not sure I should be. What do you think?.
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5 thoughts on “Charges Dropped Against 9/11 Rescue Worker due to Hero Status

  1. It’s outrageous nyoki! Even celebrities haven’t been getting off that easy lately. I’m kind of curious about the Xanax tho. Was he taking it without a prescription or does it really hit you that hard? I could care less about the illegal firearm.

  2. Yeah I don’t care about the firearm either. I’ve been rx’d xanax and never could figure out what the big deal was. As far as I could tell, it did nil. I never get the kick out of all these rx’d drugs (w/ the notable exception of Demerol and Morphine IV drips)that others seem to. Pisses me off, actually. ;<)

  3. I can’t drink alcohol and have never mixed it w/ drugs, though I’ve considered it a time or two and I do like a beer now and then. I do know people, however, who do it on purpose. A tad scary.

  4. I agree that this is outrageous also. Just because someone performed heroically in the past gives them no license to behave badly now. Or at least it shouldn’t. Mr McCormack’s past heroics won’t prevent him from crashing his car and maybe killing an innocent bystander. Pulling him over might have though. Hopefully he’ll choose not to drive under the influence in the future despite the lack of legal consequence this time.
    On a different note, I can’t even imagine spending 8 days sifting through rubble breathing poisonous crap and ending up with shrapnel in my lung. I don’t think society owes Mr McCormack exemption from the law, but it does owe him some really good medical benefits. I hope he’s receiving some.

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