New York City police officer Mark DeSimone began experiencing “ill effects from the aftermath of 9/11” in 2003, which prompted him to begin participating in triathlons as a way to cope with these repercussions.
But he doesn’t appear to have fully recovered because he practically lost his mind on a citizen who was photographing the National 9/11 Memorial last week.
DeSimone detained Meredith Dodson for 20 minutes after she snapped a photo of the long pathway into the site.
Here is how she explained it to Gothamist:
The officer continued to berate me and stood within inches of my face to yell at me and say how he had lost many friends on 911 and he just barely survived and how he was protecting the area from terrorists. He asked me where I was from (I said Georgia) and he said he was from Alabama and that I should know not to take pictures through a mesh. I said I didn’t know about a no photography rule for inside the area. I was crying by this point and asked why I was still being detained and was I begin charged with anything.
He did not answer my question and continued to threaten me by saying that he would do a background check and that he could arrest us and charge my friends and me with trespassing. He said that “my friends are assholes” and that if they came back there would be problems. I didn’t understand why he was continuing to be so aggressive towards me. My husband and friend had already left the area (about 50 feet away) and I was certainly not being anything but polite to him. I didn’t even know why he was threatening me with these things especially since I had already had the background check to be allowed into the area. I signed up for tickets two weeks prior and was still in the cordoned area where all the tourists were. I didn’t even attempt to go into an area that I wasn’t allowed. I took a picture from inside the visitor area.
In August 2010, DeSimone was honored as Athlete of the Month in the New York World Police and Fire Games.
Police Officer Mark DeSimone has been with the New York City Police Department since 1999. Throughout his years with the department, he has worked as a patrol officer in the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, spent some time with the Narcotics division, and taught for two years as a specialized training instructor at the Police Academy. In 2003, Mark began to experience some ill effects from the aftermath of 9/11. Inspired by an article on an NYPD Captain who participated in Triathlons, he began to train in an effort to offset the and participated in his first event that same year. Since then, he has competed in numerous triathlons all around the country. In 2009, he organized a First Responders triathlon group consisting of Police Officers, Firefighters, EMS workers and Federal Agents from around the country. He hopes to build upon the success of this organization and participate in the 2011 games in New York.
Sounds to me as he needs to be treated for post stress traumatic disorder.