PINAC correspondent Charlie Grapski, who has been spending the last few months tending to his ailing father in a Central Florida hospital, was arrested last week after filing a complaint on the hospital for alleged Medicare fraud.
The exact charge was trespassing, which came as a surprise to him considering he had been living in the HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Altamonte Springs for three months, sleeping on hospital bed next to his father, surrounded by a makeshift office he had created that included two computers, a printer and a scanner.
He ended up stripped naked in a cold, damp cell on suicide watch as punishment for refusing to answer a self-incriminating question upon intake to the Seminole County Correction Facility, specifically, “are you taking illegal drugs.”
“I refused to answer,” Grapski said.
As a result, he ended up forced into a suicide cell, which he describes as being in the deepest, darkest part of the jail next to an empty infirmary.
Grapski said he felt his blood pressure soaring, a result of the post-traumatic stress syndrome from the time he was beaten and left in a coma, an incident that resulted in him being convicted for battery on a police officer, which is why he is currently on probation and why he is now facing prison time, thanks to the latest arrest.
But when he told the guard in the cell that he wanted to be taken to a hospital, his pleas were ignored and he was told to strip naked.
“If you don’t take off your clothes in two seconds, I’m going to physically do it for you,” a jail guard threatened.
So he removed his clothes and ended up sitting in the cell naked for 24 hours while stressing over his father, who was in the hospital for a spinal chord injury he had received at another hospital where he had gone in for anemia, then ended up falling off a commode as they were tending to him.
A mental health counselor eventually spoke to Grapski as he sat naked in the cell and determined he was not suicidal, so he was allowed to get dressed to stand in front of a judge, where he argued his case and persuaded the judge to release him on bond.
But when the jail officials discovered he was in the process of being released, they decided to hold him over the weekend in the same suicide cell, but this time with his clothes on.
And when he asked the guards to allow him to call his lawyer, they threatened to strip him naked again and strap him into a restraint chair, which they referred to as “the chair,” a torturous device that has been linked to several dozen deaths across the country since 1990.
Fortunately, Grapski was not placed in the chair as much as they wanted to place him in the chair. And apparently as must as they like to see him naked.
He was finally released Sunday and had to take a two hour bus ride, plus walk an additional three miles to return to the hospital where his father is to retrieve his car and his belongings, not that he was any longer allowed inside.
He ended up asking a friend who works at a nearby pub to go in on his behalf, but since then, he has not been able to see his father and has been so stressed out, he ended up checking into another hospital because his blood pressure was soaring more than 230 over 130.
Adding to his stress is the fact that his probation officer, who has had it in for him since last year when they forced Grapski into a hospital against his will to keep him from traveling to Ferguson to report for PINAC, is now threatening to put him in prison because an arrest is a probation violation, even if it’s an unlawful arrest.
Here is where Grapski introduced himself to PINAC readers last year and goes into great detail about why he is on probation after he was convicted for recording police. Many photos are missing from those links because they disappeared after the Great PINAC Crash of 2014 in November. We hope to restore them one day.
So how did all this start?
Grapski said that within two weeks of his father being hospitalized at HealthSound, hospital administrators began trying to get his father to checkout under the pretense that Medicare only pays for two weeks of care.
But Grapski says that Medicare has no such limitations and determined that the hospital was forcing Medicare patients out of the hospital after two weeks in order to profit – against the wishes of his father’s doctor.
He has been by his father’s side since he suffered the spinal injury, which is why the hospital provided him a bed and linen as well as allow to bring in his computers and set up an office.
Grapski said the doctors and medical staff gave his father great care, but the administrators, especially the hospital’s CEO, began insisting his father needed to check out, even though his father was still in need of medical care.
He began doing some research and discovered the HealthSouth has a history of committing financial fraud, publishing a case study he came across to his Scribd account, which states the following:
Embezzlement, misappropriation, cheating or stealing – whatever name you give it, corporate fraud is rampant. There are television and newspaper stories nearly every day about all kinds of corporate schemes, scams and swindles. How is corporate fraud accomplished and who does it? Behind every fraud is a person — or a group of people — who has taken what is not theirs to take. Some of those people intended to steal — they just never thought they would get caught. Others were pulled into the original crime or some aspect of the cover-up and before they knew it they were labeled a co-conspirator. This article will examine the people behind the much publicized fraud scheme at HealthSouth. Some did not set out to commit white-collar crime but found themselves as defendants in criminal trials for fraud. Where did those people go wrong?
In the HealthSouth case, we observe real life examples of people who were “just doing their job” but at some point crossed the line from law-abiding citizens to law-breaking villains. Seemingly small compromises in ethics and morality led to larger compromise and, ultimately, a full-scale commitment to fraud. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion on whether “the law” is ultimately the proper criteria for evaluating the morality of our behavior or the ethics of our thinking.
On June 29, he said he finally had enough and walked into the hospital’s corporate offices and filed a complaint. He then called the Medicare fraud hotline from those very same offices.
He then returned to the room and soon found himself confronted by two Altamonte Springs police officers, who were ordering him out of the room, saying they were acting on orders of the hospital, who had accused him of being disruptive.
He told them that because he had been living there for three months, he was therefore a resident, which would require police to go through due process.
But the cop was not interested in having a legal debate and gave him ten seconds to leave. But when Grapski stood up to leave, the cop blocked him, then arrested him for failure to leave.
The video below shows the exchange, the arrest and also captures his father’s conversation with a nurse about all the shenanigans they’ve been experiencing at the hospital, even though the video goes black.