Brickbat: Not Drunk


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police says there were no "obvious signs" Alan Ruel was having medical problems when he was in their custody, arrested for being drunk in a public place. But surveillance video from his jail cell shows him repeatedly collapsing, then sitting slumped in the corner for hours and finally lying on the floor with one side of his body twitching while the other half didn't move. It turned out Ruel wasn't drunk at all. A lawsuit says Ruel suffered a massive stroke that left half his body paralyzed. His lawyer says Ruel had likely suffered a minor stroke earlier, when he entered a bar with disheveled clothing and slurred speech seeking a friend. The bartender called police, who refused Ruel's request for a breathalyzer test and his insistence that he wasn't drunk, and instead arrested him and put him in a cell, where he remained for 18 hours before anyone called for medical help.

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  1. Canadian healthcare may have issues, but this is a police crime.

    1. The only part that makes me pin it on them is the refusal to let him take a breathalyzer. Otherwise, I can definitely see someone not specifically trained in medicine confusing these stroke symptoms with intoxication. People see what they expect to see

      1. When I was young I was working at a dealership. One morning a guy had a stroke while driving on the road outside, lost control of his truck and crashed into a row of brand new vehicles.
        The GM hauled him out of his truck, thought he was drunk and started beating the shit out of him.

    2. This is a Canadian government failure.

      A) Everyone in jail is faking until they die.
      B) National healthcare is not free but included in everyone’s taxes and is not as good as private healthcare.
      C) Police in many Western Nations have become militarized.

      1. True on all counts; once a person is in jail letting them be sick is just part of the punishment

    3. sues, I have sues. Canadian healthcare has big floppy clown sues. 🙂

    4. Nah man – its just a ‘waitlist’.

  2. Another manual says officers and guards are required to look for signs of drowsiness that, “may be an indicator of serious illness or injury,” including stroke.

    Or else what?

    1. Or else no watching hockey for two weeks.

      No, not really. That would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

    2. “Or else what?”

      A paid vacation while the matter is investi- I mean, covered up.

    3. They call everyone a hoser.

  3. At least the guy wasn’t tasered and no mooseses were shot. And is an 18-hour wait time to see a doctor out of the ordinary for the Canadian healthcare system?

  4. I work in a health care system not far from the border; Canadians do not want to go back to Canada for their care.

    1. Damned illegals! Deport them before they embarrass Trump!

    2. Q U T; Keep banging the drum loudly on this please!!! Since most of the states along the northern border are some shade of left, you’ve got a perfect audience to help move the discussion a bit away from insanity and pink unicorns.

  5. This is a Canadian Policecare issue, not a healthcare issue.

    1. Brickbats are often titled ironically.

      1. There’s a joke in here about how they dramatically improved his outcomes by holding him back from Canadian Healthcare.

        Or how his 18 hour delay was the shortest period anyone ever waited for an appointment.

        Lots of dark humor being overlooked here. Frankly, I’m disappointed with the commentariat.

  6. 18 hours before seeking medical help? Fastest response ever for nationalized healthcare!

  7. Is Reason just trolling us now? What was the point about the healthcare comparison? If they need examples of prisoners dying of health-related issues they can certainly look toward the US.

    So is Reason making a joke out of a dying prisoner then? Classy.

    1. Would you rather it’d been titled, “Canadian Retirement Plan”?

  8. I don’t know how it is in Canada but here in the US THAT would be a law suite. Not waiting to happen but would be already filled. Huge pay out for the victim too.

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