In a recent article from the Star Ledger, reporter Christopher Baxter recounts the events on the night of Nov 10th 2010
experienced by 46 year old Daniel Fried while driving on Route 72 in Burlington County N.J. At approximately 6:54PM Mr. Fried was pulled over by NJ state trooper Paul Brown for driving erratically, in actuality Mr. Fried was suffering from diabetic shock.
The officer proceeded to ask Mr. Fried a few questions including if he had diabetes. Mr. Fried confused and disoriented from being in shock had answered yes, then no, while appearing sleepy and incoherent, while slurring his speech. The officer feeling like he was getting the run – around then started speaking with the 2nd state Trooper who arrived on the scene, Officer Scott Tetzlaff, informing his partner that the driver was being evasive but mentions nothing about his questions or suspicion of diabetes.
Officer Tetzlaff then approached the car to speak with Mr. Fried, he asks him to take his hands from his pockets to which Mr. Fried obliges but then a few moments later puts them back. Officer Tetzlaff then grabs Daniel Fried’s arm, feeling confused and threatened both men then struggle as Daniel Fried is pulled from his car and taken down to the
ground by the officer. The first state trooper on the scene Paul Brown witnessing the altercation hits Daniel Fried in the leg with his baton as he is cuffed and then brought to the back seat of the patrol car.
While in the back seat of the Patrol Car Mr. Fried repeatly asks for sugar, officer Tetzlaff decides to call the paramedics and tells Mr. Fried this could have been avoided if he had said he had diabetes and that he was still going to be charged. Still pleading for sugar Daniel Fried had stated he had juice that he keeps in his van but the officers refuse to get it and tell Mr. Fried to keep his mouth shut.
After the paramedics arrive Officer Tetzlaff then searches the van for the juice, paramedics test Mr. Fried’s blood sugar and it is at a critically low level of 26. Immediately Daniel Fried is taken to the hospital to be treated for his diabetic shock as well as his broken wrist, cuts, and bruises from his altercation.
After reading this article I alsoread the following comments from other readers each offering their opinions
some favoring the troopers point of view and others, Mr. Fried’s. If you have a few moments I suggest you read the full article yourself here http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/10/nj_state_police_diabetes_train.html
My intention for sharing this article is not to pick a side or get into a debate but rather point out what Christopher Baxter expresses in his article for the Star Ledger – that lack of diabetes knowledge and confusion led to an unfortunate experience that I am sure all parties would react differently if they had only been more prepared. I think this situation brings to light the importance of Diabetes Awareness.
With the onset of Diabetes Awareness month in November and because of many similar stories like
Daniel Fried’s, The Diabetes Foundation will continue to provide our information & assistance throughout the state of
New Jersey in the hopes that many more companies, public and governmentagencies will make a greater effort to learn more about diabetes, it’s symptoms and complications. Help us with our campaign to raise awareness by sharing our Free Education Events, Website, and Facebook page.