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Thread: Self-defense insurance – CHL Protection Plan and others.

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    From "The Concealed Handgun Manual - Fifth Edition" by Chris Bird:



    Defending yourself in court following a self-defense shooting can be expensive. It cost Ralph Williams $16,500 to defend himself against criminal charges and that doesn’t include the $10,000 he spent defending a civil suit. Gordon Hale shelled out $12,000 and Pete Kanakidis more than $75,000. The Castle Doctrine should cut down on the number of ordinary citizens who end up in court for defending themselves but is there anything else we can do to keep the legal system out of our pocket books? In some states, it is possible to take precautions.

    Garry Brookman lives in Euless, Texas, a suburb just southwest of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He is a large man who is an insulin dependent diabetic and other medical problems that can be life threatening. He has a Doberman called Rusty that he and his wife adopted from an animal shelter. The dog is certified as a canine assistance animal and has been trained to lick Brookman’s face if he collapses. If there is no response, he barks. If they are at home and there is still no response, the dog goes into the bedroom and pushes a button which sends a prerecorded message by telephone to the 911 operator.

    Brookman has a Texas concealed handgun license and is certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as a concealed handgun instructor.

    On Saturday afternoon, June 25, 2005, Brookman, then fifty-six, took Rusty to Meadowmere Park on Lake Grapevine so he could get some exercise. He said the temperature that day was over a hundred degrees.

    “I was watching Rusty wading in the lake when suddenly I heard gunfire,” Brookman said.

    Several people on the opposite shore of the cove, about fifty yards away, were shouting: “Stop shooting. Put that gun away. There are kids in the water.”

    After a few seconds Brookman heard two shots and saw the bullet strikes in the lake close to Rusty. The dog ran out of the water and Brookman took him back to his pickup. At that stage, he did not see who was doing the shooting.

    “At 3:02 p.m., I contacted Grapevine Police Department through nine-one-one and reported that someone was firing a handgun at Meadowmere Park ,” Brookman said.

    The 911 emergency operator said the police would respond. Brookman wrote down the license plate numbers of five vehicles parked close to his truck. He started to drive south on the park road when he noticed two other vehicles – a black two-door Cadillac and a green Honda CLX – parked about 100 feet from the other vehicles. Four teenage youths were standing beside the vehicles.

    Brookman said the oldest youth was standing by the open driver’s door of the Cadillac. He was holding a .22 caliber Ruger semi-automatic handgun in his right hand. He turned and was putting the gun on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat when Brookman stopped his truck across the road from the two vehicles.

    “I was writing down their license plate numbers when they noticed what I was doing. They began screaming profanities at me, asking: ‘Why are you writing down our license plates?’”

    He lowered his window and told them he had called nine-one-one.

    “The teen with the gun screamed more profanities then yelled: ‘Get out of here man or I’m going to shoot you!’

    “I did not respond. The teenager started reaching down into the backseat of the Cadillac. Fearing that he was going for the gun, I drew my stainless Ruger P-90 semi-automatic handgun caliber.45 ACP from the center console of my truck. I got out of my truck and ordered the youth to step away from the vehicle,” Brookman said.

    Confronted with the gun, the youth urinated and defecated on himself but complied with Brookman’s order, backing away from the car and sitting down on a park railing. Brookman said he lowered his gun as he no longer felt threatened. He noticed two large grocery bags containing fireworks on the ground beside the Cadillac.

    He again called the Grapevine Police Department at 3:08 p.m. and told the 911 operator that he was holding the youths at gunpoint and that they should send officers immediately. The 911 operator called him back at 3:10 p.m. on his cell phone and told him to put the gun away or they could not send anyone there so he put it in his truck. Brookman left his cell phone on and everything the youths said from that point was recorded on the 911 system. While waiting for the police to arrive, the youths told Brookman they often used to shoot in the park and had been shooting at passing airliners.

    At 3:55, 45 minutes later, two patrol cars arrived. According to Brookman, Officer Aaron Cox took possession of his gun and put it in his patrol car while the other officer talked to the youths. Cox did not ask him any questions, Brookman said, but Officer Cox then went over to where the other officer was questioning the youths. The officers seized the bags of fireworks and Cox wrote the oldest youth a ticket for possession of fireworks in a prohibited place. The officer noted on the ticket that he did not search the vehicle which contained the youth’s semi-automatic handgun. The Federal “Youth Handgun Safety Act” prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from knowingly possessing a handgun. The law also states that delivering a handgun to a person under the age of 18 is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

    “They never asked me anything – not one word. They talked to the kids first and came and told me I was under arrest. Had they said anything or asked me: ‘What’s going on?’ or ‘Why did you pull your weapon?’ I would have said: ‘There’s a gun in the back of that car there.’ I would have said that,” Brookman said. “Had they searched the vehicle, or searched him, they would have found the gun.”

    The officers told him he was under arrest for deadly conduct. They handcuffed him and put him in Cox’s patrol car. His truck was impounded and his dog taken to Grapevine animal control. His handgun, magazines, ammunition, holster, magazine pouch, and Texas concealed handgun license were held as evidence. At the Grapevine police jail, he filled in a form listing all his medical problems and the medications he was taking, including insulin for diabetes.

    “It was totally ignored,” Brookman said.

    Fortunately for Brookman, some months before he had signed up with the CHL Protection Plan (http://www.CHLPP.com). CHL stands for Concealed Handgun License, the name for the Texas concealed carry document. The plan sells to license holders a legal services contract that covers legal expenses after a self-defense incident with a handgun up to and including the grand jury proceedings. It does not cover the cost of bail or civil law suits.

    “We are not an insurance company per se,” says company president Rick Mackey.

    The company started selling legal protection to Texas residents who have concealed handgun licenses in 2005. As of mid 2007, it had about 2,500 customers and was selling contracts to residents ofTexas, Missouri , Oklahoma , Louisiana ,Arkansas, Florida , Tennessee ,and North Carolina.

    Allowed one phone call, Brookman dialed the toll-free number on his CHL Protection Plan card and explained to the answering service operator that he had been arrested and was in the Grapevine police jail. The operator called Richard Fry, a lawyer in Austin , on contract to the plan. Brookman was put in a cell with another man overnight. He said he learned later that Fry called the jail to speak to him at least four (4) times from 4:00 p.m. Saturday to 7:00 a.m Sunday morning. Fry was told he was unavailable so the lawyer called Brookman’s wife. She brought his insulin to the jail that Saturday night but it was put in the evidence bag with his wallet and other belongings that he had had on him when arrested. He received no medical attention, food, or water.

    By the next morning Brookman was called to appear before a magistrate. He was having pains in his left arm and said he could not get up. He said he was dragged out of the cell by a police officer and his cellmate and left face down on the floor where he passed out. Someone shook him into a state of semi-consciousness and told him he had to sign a form.

    “It could have been a confession to murder for all I knew,” Brookman said.

    The magistrate set his bond at a thousand dollars and asked someone if he was all right. Grapevine Fire Department paramedics were called to examine him. They realized he was having a heart attack and put him on a gurney.

    The last thing Brookman remembers as he was wheeled out of the jail area was the magistrate saying: “Get him out of here before he dies on us.”

    An ambulance took him to Baylor Hospital in Grapevine. A police officer guarded him while he was handcuffed to the gurney in the emergency room. After he was treated for the heart attack and told his bond had been paid, the police officer removed the handcuffs and left. Brookman apparently had a mild heart attack so his wife was able to drive him home. He is convinced that his heart attack was caused by the incompetence of the staff at the Grapevine jail withholding medical attention and medication from him. His health insurance paid $2,900 for his brief hospital stay.

    The youth who was issued a ticket for possession of fireworks appeared in Grapevine municipal court on July 12, 2005 and pleaded guilty. He was fined $123 and put on probation for ninety days. He was not charged with illegal possession of a firearm because the police officers never searched his car and thus never discovered the gun.



    The following Tuesday, Brookman went to the Grapevine Police Department and filed a criminal complaint against all four (4) youths for violation of the Texas “Guide Dog Protection Act” which makes it a Class C felony to attempt to injure/kill a service animal punishable by 2-10 years in state prison, a $10,000 fine, and up to $50,000 in restitution. Brookman also filed reports of domestic terrorism with the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety Anti-Terrorism Unit, and the Federal Park Service. A Park Ranger met Brookman at the crime scene on Wednesday afternoon and gathered spent .22 casings and expended firework remnants. The park ranger stated that in the previous twelve (12) months there had been over 200 reports of firearms related vandalism in the Grapevine Lake area.



    About ten days after his arrest, Brookman appeared in Tarrant County Criminal Court. Fry, the protection plan lawyer, drove up from Austin to represent him. He subsequently relinquished the case to Walt Cleveland, a local lawyer from the Fort Worth area. Cleveland had been a police officer and a felony prosecutor before becoming a criminal defense lawyer.

    Brookman was charged with deadly conduct, a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in the county jail and fine not to exceed $5,000, Cleveland said. The offense is when someone performs an act that is clearly dangerous to human life although no injury results.

    “To make a long story short, it’s pointing a gun at somebody,” the lawyer added.

    For his second court appearance, Cleveland met Brookman at the courthouse. The lawyer conferred with the prosecutor who offered a deal. Brookman would get five years probation if he pleaded guilty to deadly conduct, if he took anger management classes, gave up his gun and any other guns he possessed for destruction, and gave up all firearms for five years. A lawyer is required to tell his client what the prosecutor offers so the client can decide whether to accept it or not.

    “I told Walt: ‘No.’”

    There was a suggestion that the police were planning to destroy Brookman’s gun so Cleveland subpoenaed it for ballistics tests. He filed a series of other motions. Cleveland threatened to take the case to a jury trial at which the youths would be subpoenaed to testify. They could not be forced to testify against themselves but they could be forced to give evidence against each other. The case never got as far as taking depositions but the threat was there.

    “I knew I was right and in a misdemeanor court in a large county like Tarrant County I was dealing with an attorney that had very little experience,” Cleveland said. “And I also threatened to make it a very public trial.”

    Clevelandsaid the investigation was poor and the police officers were lazy in not doing a more thorough investigation.[/b]

    “They had a person with a gun. They thought that they had solved the problem by taking the gun and the person who had it. They just diffused the situation rather than investigate it and see what actually happened,” he said.

    The prosecutor decided he wanted to renegotiate. He offered to dismiss the charges if they could destroy the gun. Brookman turned down that offer too. Then the prosecutor offered to let the judge decide if he got his gun and ammunition back.

    “I said: “Fine. I’ll go with that,’” Brookman said.

    On Friday, March 10, 2006, Judge Brent Carr, an ex-Marine and former federal prosecutor, dismissed the charge of deadly conduct against Garry Brookman. He also signed an order for Brookman to get back his handgun, spare magazines, ammunition, and holster.

    “I got in my car and drove directly from the downtown Fort Worth courthouse out to the city of Grapevine and went to the little information window and asked for my property back,” Brookman said.

    A senior police officer verified the order then told Brookman he would have to make an appointment for the following week. Brookman pointed out that Grapevine police had had his property for nine months and he wanted it immediately. When the officer stalled, he threatened to have his lawyer call the judge and tell him that Grapevine police were ignoring his order. Brookman got his property back at once.

    He still needed to get his concealed handgun license back. Grapevine police said they didn’t have it. He called the Texas Department of Public Safety which issues the licenses and faxed the judge’s order. He was initially told the department didn’t have the license. Later they apparently found the license and it was eventually returned to him, after many phone calls, on April 6, 2006, some six (6) weeks later.

    I emailed this account to the Grapevine Police Department for their comments. Several days later, I received an email from Sergeant Kim Smith which stated that the department’s lawyers had advised to allow the account to stand without comment.

    “Several of his (Brookman’s) points . . . are inaccurate and based on his own personal interpretation of the incident,” Smith wrote. She declined to elaborate on which points were inaccurate.

    Brookman saved several thousand dollars in legal fees by belonging to the CHL Protection Plan. He was pleased with the representation he received from both Protection Plan lawyers, particularly Cleveland’s work.

    “He went way beyond what the contractual obligations were which were just to defend me until it gets to a grand jury. He helped me get my gun back; he went to court four or five times and got the thing dismissed; got the judge to order them to give me my gun back,” Brookman said.

    Coverage for an individual through the CHL Protection Plan is $129 a year or $229 for a couple. Each client receives a wallet-size card with a toll-free phone number on it that will be answered twenty-four hours a day. The client will be referred to one of the plan’s contract lawyers who will handle the case. As of September 2007, the only claim for legal representation had been Brookman’s.

    For more information about the CHL Protection Plan, visit website http://www.chlpp.com or contact Rick Mackey, president of the plan at 866-851-9744.





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    Wow. Stuff like this shouldn't really be surprising to any of us, and yet every time I read another incident it makes my blood boil.

    Imagine if he had died from the heart attack. All we would have ever heard was that a "CHL holder died in custody after being arrested for threatening children at a park with his concealed handgun. The CHL holder was scheduled to be arraigned on charges of deadly conduct." And he would have been a poster child for the Brady Bunch.

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    Is that it? Your first post is just spam and unsolicited advertising? NOt even a hello?

    Thanks anyway...

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    BobCav wrote:
    Is that it? Your first post is just spam and unsolicited advertising? NOt even a hello?

    Thanks anyway...
    Yup, spam. Why don't you lock this thread, Bob? Oh... :X

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    BobCav wrote:
    Is that it? Your first post is just spam and unsolicited advertising? NOt even a hello?

    Thanks anyway...
    Yup, spam. Why don't you lock this thread, Bob? Oh... :X
    RUB IT IN! I was just getting over it too!

    DAMN YOU!



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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    BobCav wrote:
    Is that it? Your first post is just spam and unsolicited advertising? NOt even a hello?

    Thanks anyway...
    Yup, spam. Why don't you lock this thread, Bob? Oh... :X
    *sigh* Yep ...
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    BobCav wrote:
    Is that it? Your first post is just spam and unsolicited advertising? NOt even a hello?

    Thanks anyway...
    Yup, spam. Why don't you lock this thread, Bob? Oh... :X
    That was cold man....:P

    ETA: With the increasing popularity of this site, we should expect to see this happening more and more often.



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    This CHL self defense incident was researched and documented by Chris Bird, a internationally known author, before it was included in the latest edition of his book "The Concealed Handgun Manual". He interviewed myself, the criminal defense attorney Walt Cleveland,the Grapevine Police officers involved,Judge Carr, the procecuting attorney, and the hospital ER workers over an eighteen (18) month period during 2006/2007. Be more careful next time!

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  11. #11
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    Hmm, there's definitely something here...


    ITEM NO. 10 PUBLIC COMMENTS

    Gerald Brookman, 512 Martha Street, addressed the council regarding an incident at Wilshire Park where two teens were killing turtles from the pond. He asked the council to direct the city attorney to write an ordinance for approval by the city council that would prevent such incidents in the future.
    That's from Euless city council meeting minutes

    So, at least the guy exists. I couldn't find any substantiation of the story either. The only place it appear online is at the website for this insurance place, so I'm not linking to their website.


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