Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kit Summers Convicted

I'm recently back from Linwood District Court where Trainer's Kit Summers had his preliminary hearing on charges of making Terroristic Threats, Harassment and Disorderly Conduct.

Represented by Media Attorney Ted Hoppe, pro bono, Summers was found guilty by DJ David Griffin of harassment and disorderly based solely on the testimony of his 61-year-old neighbor, Paul Craig Essick. Griffin threw out the most serious charge, that of his making a "terrorist threat" to Essick.

But why Griffin decided to find Summers guilty of the other charges is a mystery. He ordered both men into a community mediation program, much to the chagrin and disgust of Mr. Essick.

At no time, did Griffin hear from Summers before finding him guilty of the lesser charges. If he had he would have heard a decidedly different version of events, one that painted Essick at the aggressor against the Summers who still copes with a brain-injury from a 1982 accident.

I'll be writing more about this later. But here's a video of Kit after the hearing.

video

Griffin said he would postpone sentencing for 45 days pending both men completing the mediation program. Summers' attorney Ted Hoppe, says he may appeal the Griffin's decision to Media.

UPDATE: Here's an e-mail from reader Phyllis May Lynch, who apparently knows Kit Summers a lot better than I do.
Gil

I don't know where to begin, but I'll start by saying, what a great write-up you did on Kit Summers, and how correct you are in your "take" on Kit!

I am a Realtor, which is how i met Kit and his wife 17 years ago. I have been friendly with Kit since that time, and words cannot express how sick in my stomach this entire situation has made me. Me, as well as my husband and children (who have all come to know Kit over the years) are just completely blown away and saddened that someone that is so gentle and harmless could be put in this awful, completely pathetic situation!

When i tell you that Kit Summers is truly one of the most compassionate, sensitive, kind, caring individuals i have EVER met in my life (not to mention probably one of the most gentle and harmless as well), that would probably be an understatement. Always soft spoken, never loud, never confrontational, always just giving of himself, with a great love for people (especially his family and friends) and also animals (especially his 4 rabbits), is the only way i have ever known Kit to be, EVER! And if you gave me a list of 1,000 people, Kit would be the LAST person on my list that would start any trouble (let alone use a gun)?!?!? (I really don't even think Kit is the type that would hurt a bug! He would be the one that would pick it up and take it outside, so as not to hurt or kill it)! 

I am just hoping that somehow justice will be served, and a man that doesn't bother a soul, and goes about his simple life trying to create good will among so many, will receive the peace that he is so much deserves!

Phyllis May-Lynch
Here's another:
I just read your piece in the paper about Kit.
Let me tell you my story. I had never heard of nor known Kit Summers until
Sept. 2009.

Let me back up a bit ... On July 1st 2009 my son Daniel was in what should
have been a fatal car accident.

He suffered severe head trauma and extensive brain injuries including Diffuse
Axonal Shearing (DAI). The worst type of brain injury possible. ... Daniel was in a coma for a month and inpatient rehab
for another 4 months.

In Sept. I was at a home show in Philadelphia for work. At this point I was
still in a fog, I was basically going through the motions of life, not
really living. I ran into a man at a booth selling Salsa. He saw my
bracelet "Pray for Dan" and we started talking. I told him about my son.
He, to my utter shock, told me about himself. That man was Kit Summers. He
signed a copy of his book for Dan and gave me a set of juggling balls to
take to Daniel in the hospital. He thought it would help Dan to recover his
coordination. All this from a complete stranger.

That was the beginning of the friendship between Kit, Dan and I. What I
would later find out at a BIAPA (Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania)
walk-a-thon is that Kit also knew the mother of a close friend of Dan. What
a small world. Kit volunteered to come and support Dan at the walk-a-thon.

I had dinner with Kit, his sister, Dan and our mutual friend last week. We
talked of the situation and shared some of Dan's progress. Kit has been
wonderful to Dan and nothing short of inspirational to me and my family.

To think that Kit could do ANYTHING even remotely close to threatening
another person is nothing short of ludicrous. The police, who admitted
knowing Kit previously should be embarrassed of themselves. Kit is a
wonderful, kind & gentle human being.

I just thought I'd share my experience with Kit with you.

Dave Perrino
Dan's Dad

And another:
Gil,

Thank you for your story on Kit. I have known him for going on 10
years and would agree with your assessment of him as a human being. I
consider him one of the more fascinating men I have ever met. His life
story is remarkable and heart-achingly tragic. One thing that Kit
needs, more than most of us, is an advocate. I am thankful that God
has perhaps touched you on the shoulder to help in that cause!

Stephen Smickley

2 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Gil,

I am virtually speechless.
How can a man defend himself if he is not allowed to speak on his own behalf? How is the system supposed to work when the defendant is not allowed to defend himself. This is beyond any rational comprehension.

Dave P.

November 11, 2010 at 8:50 AM 
Blogger davee said...

Thank you, Mr. Spencer, for updating your Blog to include the comments of those who have known Mr. Summers personally. I do not yet have the honor of meeting him. But as I have said previously, I was chilled by your original opinon piece.

I have advised Mr. Summers' pro bono attorney that I will financially support, modest as it may be, the court costs for an appeal of his conviction to the Court of Common Pleas in Media. I will also be imploring those I know in 'the system' for a complete review of Mr. Summers situation. Plus I will be researching how I can inspire the Attorney General of the Commonwealth's office to investigate the situation regarding the assualt, with an eyewitness, on Mr. Summers being disregarded by the Trainer Police Department and local District Court while accepting without any corroboration whatsoever the allegations of Mr. Summers bullying neighbor regarding terroristic threats. Unless and until I learn that the facts are not what I have heretofore been led them to be I will not put this situation away. For all of the readers of the Daily Times: What the situation regarding Kit Summers means to you is simply that if your neighbor goes to the police and tells them that you threatened them, you can spend three weeks in jail and you can then, without any substantiation whatsoever, be found guilty. Think about it please.

November 11, 2010 at 11:22 PM 

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