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“THEY’RE SCARED TO DEATH”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 16, 2010) — Walter Fitzpatrick had good news to report this evening from the Monroe County jail:
LCDR FITZPATRICK: There’s been a lot of activity here today, and it’s obvious that the pressure has really been applied here in the Monroe County jailhouse, but I won’t go into details tonight. Well-done. Way to go. They’re worried. They’re scared.
MRS. RONDEAU: I’m taping you now. Can you say what kind of activity?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Well, we had maintenance men in the building today. They’re also doing different things with the menus and trying to improve conditions inside the jailhouse.
MRS. RONDEAU: And they’re not using inmates to do the work?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: No, not yet, not that I’ve seen. They’re bandaid fixes right now, but you can tell that there’s a difference. The other thing was that they had two or three courts working up today downtown, which is a couple of blocks from here. It seems as if they’re trying to clear out the jailhouse. It’s as if they’re trying to get as many cases cleared and get people out of here so that the population problem is solved and we don’t have to sleep on the floor. That’s the sense of things here.
MRS. RONDEAU: Really?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes, a lot of things are going on tonight. I heard a couple of comments today about the D.A., it’s Christmastime, and he’s giving all sorts of gifts to try to get people out of here. So there’s something afoot, and I wanted to give you some feedback that way.
MRS. RONDEAU: That’s great!
LCDR FITZPATRICK: The second thing is that I learned last night…I’m in two different courts; I’m in the Sessions Court – actually, I just left the Sessions Court, but the Sessions Court was last Tuesday, the ninth, when they laid down a bond of $1,500 from what I understand. Now at that time, there was a Criminal Court order which Judge Blackwood had issued that I’m to be held without bond.
MRS. RONDEAU: Yes.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Now I learned last night that it has happened where people thought they were being bonded out from the bond that was handed down from the Sessions Court and they got to the front door, ready to walk out of here, and then found out that there was a hold on them from the Criminal Court. The bond money has been collected, and it’s not refundable, and the man goes back into jail.
MRS. RONDEAU: That is exactly what someone we both know said, and that’s what he’s been working on.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes. So if anybody is looking to have me bonded out, don’t have them pay any money until they know that it’s going to have me released, because otherwise, it’s just a ripoff.
MRS. RONDEAU: That’s exactly what he thought.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: And that’s another part of the extortion scheme that’s going on here. So right now, my understanding of my status is that I’m here indefinitely because of the Judge Blackwood ruling, and I have no idea beyond that what happens next. I’m glad that you heard that separately.
MRS. RONDEAU: I’m very happy that they’re in there making repairs. I have been publishing all kinds of stories about the conditions, and I’m getting the information from people who have been in there. Every day there’s at least one new story. I don’t know if it would have happened otherwise.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: I’m sitting here with a Mr. Michael Ellington, and he has noted that he has been very encouraging in his feedback to me, telling me the kinds of things that have been going on around here that are different and bringing them to my attention: some of the nuances and dynamics that are different, and there’s a lot that’s different. So please keep the pressure on…these guys are scared to death.
They were talking in the hallway today about the stuff that’s on the internet, and they’re trying to play it off as no big deal. I’m telling you what: these guys are scared to death.
MRS. RONDEAU: Well, there’s more to come. There’s a lot more to come. There’s the second half of Darren Huff’s interview where something unexpected happened after I spoke with him, and now I have to get that last part of it. He’s talking about how all the charges are trumped up and that the feds are waiting for Monroe County to come up with something. And that’s not even the biggest thing. I have a lot of people calling me, especially about the police brutality. There’s no reason for it, and citizens are being terrorized, and I told you that Daniel Morgan gave me a fabulous interview. He is a very smart, courageous young man.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes, he is.
MRS. RONDEAU: …and that’s out there, and he’s not backing down, and neither am I. Any stupid comments they make on the website have been reported to the FBI.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Make sure that people know that I’m not making any deals with anybody; they’ve attempted to take me in their back room and make a deal with me. That was Tuesday at the Sessions Court, and I told the judge “No, no way;” basically, “No way; it’s not going to happen.”
MRS. RONDEAU: Did they try to get you to admit to having done something?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Oh, yeah, they want me to make a deal…it actually wasn’t on that Tuesday; it was the hearing before that, which was on….
MRS. RONDEAU: It was right after you were kidnapped.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: It was my first Sessions Court appearance.
MRS. RONDEAU: I have the date in my records.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: That day, Dixon asked me if I wanted to make some kind of a deal with the District Attorney, and I said, “No way in hell.” I just want people to know…please, I’m rock-solid and I’m going all the way on this one. And keep the pressure on in the community. This is really spreading, and you can see that, Sharon. We heard these people talking in the hallway here; they’re talking so that we can hear them.
MRS. RONDEAU: Really?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yeah, they’re scared to death. Lt. Wakefield’s conversations were overheard…
MRS. RONDEAU: “W-a-k-e-f-i-e-l-d”?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yeah, yeah. Lt. Wakefield…He can go to hell, frankly. He’s talking about the meal that he’s planning here for Thanksgiving Day, and how good it’s going to be…and both Mr. Ellington and I were listening to this, recognizing that this guy knows that we can hear him. They’re trying to get good news out. Don’t print any good news. It’s a dungeon; it’s just a terrible place. So I’ll leave it at that. Like I said, there’s more to report when I leave here. And right now, just so that we cover this base again, my stay here is indefinite. I don’t know from one day to the next what’s going on, and that’s OK. As I said, it’s like a POW camp so you live from one day to the next; it’s a vicarious existence. But keep the pressure on. You can tell your readers that this really is having an effect, and the cockroaches are running for the corner; the lights have been turned on, and they don’t like it one bit.
MRS. RONDEAU: Sounds like a bunch of bullies who thought they could keep beating up and tasering people, throwing them in jail like a piece of meat…
LCDR FITZPATRICK: They’re feeding on the people in this community. It’s nothing but predatory. They are feeding on the people in this community, and they’re sucking them dry. And all the things we talked about: you keep hearing these narratives from different people. They’re stealing property, they’re stealing cars, they’re stealing furniture and televisions and they take these people into custody and it’s a revolving door. The bondsmen are making a mint off of this thing, because they keep sending people for bonds, and the bondsmen keep the money. Everyplace you look, there’s a racket going on, and they’re feeding off the people in this community. It’s an outrage, Sharon. And the judges…you can tell by the way that they react, like when I called out Dixon on the ninth, his reaction was “ten days more; oh, no, I didn’t do this…” These guys know that they’re about to be caught, and they’re scared to death.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Well, that’s not a surprise. Also, before I forget, I had a very nice letter today from a minister in Hays, KS. That was a very encouraging letter from Kansas. So I’ve had North Carolina, Kansas, and we’ve discouraged letters, but a couple have gotten through.
Automated Operator: You have one minute left.
MRS. RONDEAU: Well, I’m glad they’re making repairs, and maybe they’re actually getting the showers to work and the toilets to flush, pardon my French, but that’s what people have been telling me.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: It’s that kind of stuff; they have plumbers in here this morning working on the plumbing.
MRS. RONDEAU: That’s exactly one of the things that’s been mentioned. Mr. Jacobs called me, you know, and he told me the toilets didn’t flush, so I put that out there.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Was Mr. Jacobs actually in the hospital?
MRS. RONDEAU: Yes. The dates were a little different, but your story was correct.