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.
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?.
Full article at Law.com.