Judge: Paralyzed Army Vet "Danger to Society" - NBC 7 San Diego

Judge: Paralyzed Army Vet "Danger to Society"



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    For the past eight months, NBCSanDiego has been following closely the story of Michael Foster.

    He's an East county Army veteran who was awarded a few years ago for saving a man and a woman from a burning trailer in Alpine.

    He's also the same man who has had several run-ins with deputies, including resisting arrest and assault against a peace officer.

    Foster blames the incidents on a combination of alcohol and post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

    "I Was Sentenced by Firing Squad": Vet

    [DGO] "I Was Sentenced by Firing Squad": Vet
    Army veteran Michael Foster doesn't remember very much about the early morning hours of Oct. 19, when he says he had a post-traumatic disorder flashback or PTSD at his Alpine home.
    (Published Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011)

    Last October, he said he had a flashback and it led to a stand off with Sheriff's deputies at his Alpine home.

    Deputies shot him five times in the back, which paralyzed him from the waist down.

    On Wednesday, Foster was in El Cajon Court to face charges in a previous case involving a bar fight at Casino Inn just days before the stand off.

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    [DGO] Vet Shot During SWAT Standoff Speaks Out
    Michael Foster says what happened to him could happen to others if they don't get help.
    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010)

    In the bar fight case, Foster is accused of attacking a man and woman and then assaulting a deputy during a drunken brawl.

    His wife went to court with him.

    "When we showed up there I thought it was a preliminary hearing, and I didn't even know jail was an option,"said Kim Foster.

    But Judge Patricia Cookson took a look at Foster's record which includes D.U.I. and resisting arrest, and ordered him to jail.

    "She looked at that matter and said based on that conduct where he was drunk and he was scuffling with the sheriff's deputies I find him to be a danger to the community,"said Foster's attorney Gretchen von Helms.

    "He may have been possibly dangerous before, but he's paralyzed and on medication for his PTSD, he's no longer a danger,"von Helms added.

    Foster's wife told NBCSanDiego that his PTSD has gotten much better, thanks to medication and therapy.

    She believes jail is the worst thing that can happen to him during his recovery.

    "We can get through anything else but it's the medical side of it that worries me the most,"Kim said.  "He has bed ulcers and if they're not taken care of, it could lead to death."

    Judge Cookson also refused bail, because Foster missed a court appearance while he was hospitalized.

    But his attorney says it was a clerical error by the court and will be cleared up.

    She's hoping to get Foster out of jail by Friday.