Man Blames Limerick for Relative's Death
Board told about series of accusations during meeting
A man who spoke during public comments at Tuesday's Limerick Township Board of Supervisors meeting claimed the township was responsible for the death of his cousin, who he said was arrested following a traffic stop by township police.
A visibly upset David Ewald said he filed a lawsuit recently over the wrongful death of his cousin, who Ewald claims committed suicide in the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in October.
Ewald, who identified his cousin only by the name George, said that George was pulled over in Limerick Township by Officer John Cassel because Ewald forgot to renew registration on his truck. Ewald said that Cassel found a warrant on George in Maryland and claimed a Maryland warrant is "no good" in Pennsylvania.
Ewald alleged Cassel lied to the district court and said that George fled from prosecution in Maryland. Ewald said his cousin's bail was set at $25,000 and George couldn't pay bail, so he was placed in Montgomery County custody.
According to Ewald, his cousin was a disabled veteran medicated with antidepressants and antipsychotics.
"He didn’t get any medicine at all" when he was sent to jail, Ewald said.
Ewald claimed on October 17, 2011, his cousin threatened suicide and then hung himself in his cell. Ewald also alleged that other prisoners saw the suicide and called guards, but the guards ignored them and didn’t come around until scheduled rounds.
Ewald said he believes the township should be held responsible for the death.
His cousin's death, Ewald said, has been "hard on the family."
"When there’s a suicide in the family, it increases the chance of another suicide in the family," he said.
Ewald told the board he had just returned from Chicago, where he attended the funeral of George's brother, who apparently committed suicide on Tuesday.
He said he was told by Limerick police that "they can arrest anyone" and he wants the township to "look at that [case] and realize officers can’t go lie to courts."
While the board listened quietly to Ewald's speech, they did not address or comment on the statement. Solicitor Joseph McGrory said after the meeting that he "is not aware of any litigation" in the matter.