Activist and internet Radio Host Jailed For Defending Child from Police
On Tuesday March 15, 2011 activist, education Critic and internet Radio host Pierotte Vassau (49) was arrested in Hackettstown N.J. for defending a local child from a second floor window.
The incident began when Pierotte known to her fans as Pepe from the Pete & Pepe show on Free Think Radio.com looked out the window of her second story home just in time to see the police pull up on a mentally disabled local boy and get out of their car to detain the teenager. Pepe who was bed ridden and ill at the time opened the second floor window to inform the police that the boy was mentally handicapped good natured and offered to call the boy’s mother to explain to the police why the boy was not in school as this appeared to be the reason why the police were detaining him. Pepe who knew the boy and had been advocating on his behalf with the local school board could tell he was distressed, terrified and not comprehending what was happening to him due to his handicap and Pepe was making an attempt to inform the police of this from the window.
What happened next according to Peter Malanga (Pierotte’s ex husband) who also lives at the same address and was looking after the couple’s own children at the time was shocking to say the least. The officer’s (Officer Garzon & Sgt. Ficarra) asked Pepe to step outside to assist them in the matter. Pepe who is a slight woman of 120 lbs. and sick at the time with what she thought was a bad cold as well as a pre exciting medical disability gladly went outside hoping to help with the situation the youth was in. As soon as she walked out the door she was immediately tackled by the officers who handled her in an extremely rough manner, kneeling on her stomach forcing her to defecate herself. As soon as the officers had booked the woman, rather than incarcerating her they rushed her to the Hackettstown regional medical center where she was admitted and remains days later. The desk Sgt. On duty with the Hackettstown police dept. that night claimed she was being treated for pneumonia. Weather this is true or not remains unclear at this time as neither the hospital or the police will release information on her condition. When this reporter called her room at the hospital the night of the arrest her phone was answered by an officer Sheedy who refused to put her on the phone or answer questions on her condition, the hospital also refused to make a statement.
According to Peter he was requested by a nurse on the phone to bring some clean clothes and underwear to the hospital but was called by police afterward and threatened that “If he were to show his face at the hospital again he would also be arrested, And that the clothes he had brought would not be given to Pierotte” He has also been told that child services would be called and that their children may be removed from the home. Peter has been having little luck trying to find affordable legal representation who can get in to see and talk to Pepe as he is still in the dark on first hand information on her condition.
On Friday March 18 2011 Det. Darren Tynan of the Hackettstown P.D. issued a “Press Release” that was amateurish, thin on details and did not even name the arresting officers. When asked for a copy of the official police report he refused the request and would not elaborate on the sketchy details and inconsistencies of the so called press release.
The press release contradicts details from eye witnesses that have contacted this reporter since last Tuesday and some of the inconsistencies like the claim that Pepe pulled down her pants while handcuffed from behind in the back seat of the police car make no sense. (Is that even possible?) The press release also states “Pierotte came outside and while the officer was reading her Miranda rights Pierotte grabbed the officer’s neck and started to squeeze.” Why was the officer allegedly reading her rights when at this point she had committed no crime? Not to mention why such a small sick woman would attack a police officer over an incident such as this one? In all the time I have been reporting on jailed activists in the United States I have never been stonewalled or been passed such a bogus document as this joke of a press release.
Until someone is allowed to talk to Pierotte or she is released we may not be able to find out if the allegations of a police beating and cover up are true. Pierotte Vassau has been charged with Criminal Mischief, Disorderly Conduct, Obstructing the Administration of Law, Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Terroristic threats. Bail has been set at $12,500. U.S. and it is unsure whether she is still in the hospital or in Warren County Correctional Facility as of right now.
One thing is for sure, something stinks in Hackettstown, New Jersey and this reporter is holding his nose and pointing at the Hackettstown Police department.
March 18, 2011