Tags: Report: | Jeb | Sent | Agents | Rescue | Terri

Report: Jeb Sent Agents to Rescue Terri

Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:00 AM

On Saturday, the Herald reported that local police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice Woodside, were expecting "a showdown" between law enforcement agents.

But the squad from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Department of Children & Families charged with taking custody of Schiavo and reinserting her feeding tube backed down after police told agents of the FDLE that they would enforce state judicial rulings preventing any actions to save Terri Schiavo.

"We told them that unless they had the judge with them when they came, they were not going to get in," a source with the local police told the Herald.

Apparently, the only showdown occured over the telephone.

"The FDLE called to say they were en route to the scene," an unnamed official with the city police told the Herald. "When the sheriff's department and our department told them they could not enforce their order, they backed off."

In ordering the move, Gov. Jeb Bush used state procedures allowing public agencies to freeze a judge's order whenever an agency appeals it. "We didn't want to break the law. There was a process in place and we were following the process," DePietre told the Herald.

On Wednesday, Pinellas-Pasco County Circuit Judge George W. Greer had signed an order forbidding DCF from taking the patient from the hospice, directing "each and every and singular sheriff of the state of Florida" to enforce the order.

But Thursday morning, DCF lawyers appealed Greer's order to judges at the Second District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, legally creating a window of opportunity to seize Schiavo, the Herald reported. The appeal created a stay in the judge's ruling.

It took nearly three hours before the judge found out and took steps to block that legal window, the Herald reported.

In the meantime, "there were two sets of law enforcement officers facing off, waiting for the other to blink," an unnamed official told the paper.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has been besiged by calls alleging Schiavo is the victim of abuse. On Wednesday, the governor and DCF chief Lucy Hadi made it known that they were considering sheltering Schiavo under the state's adult protection law.

According to Herald sources, DCF intended to take Schiavo to Morton Plant Hospital, where her feeding tube had been reinserted in 2003 following a previous judicial order allowing its removal.

Schiavo suffered brain damage in 1990 when her heart stopped briefly from a chemical imbalance believed to have been brought on by an eating disorder. She left no living will.

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On Saturday, the Herald reported that local police in Pinellas Park, the small town where Schiavo lies at Hospice Woodside, were expecting "a showdown" between law enforcement agents. But the squad from the Florida Department of Law Enforcementand the Department of...
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2005-00-26
Saturday, 26 March 2005 12:00 AM
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