Wednesday, May 9, 2018

An eyewitness saw Blue Cross/Blue Shield employee Mike McGarity, our Alabama neighbor with a lengthy criminal history, assault me with a roadside sign

Mike McGarity
Mike McGarity, our criminally inclined neighbor in Birmingham, generally has been portrayed here as the guy who launched all of our legal headaches -- and he is that. But McGarity also is a violent thug who lies to police officers. And I'm not the only one who has seen evidence of that.

We've reported several times about McGarity's physical attack on me, which ended with him striking me in the back with a roadside sign. (See here and here.) That did not come as much of a surprise, given that McGarity has at least eight criminal convictions in his background, including offenses that involved sex and violence (not to mention a drug charge that was nolle-prossed).

It is ironic, however, that McGarity would become a long-time employee at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. As a federal Medicare contractor, BC/BS of Alabama is supposed to follow strict guidelines for employee screening -- and that makes one wonder how McGarity slipped through the cracks, especially if he filled out his application truthfully.

McGarity's criminal record -- at least the part we've been able to uncover -- involves misdemeanors. But his attack on me, under Alabama law, was a felony. I did not file charges because multiple law-enforcement types in Shelby County insisted it would have to be charged as a misdemeanor, and I was not going to move forward with a complaint that wrongly classified what McGarity did. (More on my interactions with Shelby County "law men", on the felony vs. misdemeanor element of McGarity's assault, in an upcoming post.)

As for the assault itself, I have an eyewitness to the event -- and she is about as credible as a witness can get. Here is how I described the attack in a post last year, comparing my experience with that of U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) after he was attacked by a neighbor:

I can identify with [what happened to Rand Paul]. Mike McGarity, our former Birmingham neighbor with an extensive criminal record, once assaulted me by hitting me in the back with a roadside sign. It left a bleeding gash on my back, which likely would have been worse except it was a fairly cool fall day and I was wearing a heavy sweatshirt. Such an assault with a "dangerous instrument," under Alabama law, is a felony. But Shelby County officials insisted on treating it as a misdemeanor, so I did not file charges.

I noted, at the time, my long-standing concerns that McGarity might someday turn violent:

Carol and I lived next door to McGarity for more than 15 years. I can recall often being concerned that, while doing yard work, I would be attacked by the loon next door -- much as Rand Paul was. In fact, I often would mow our yard while keeping one eye on the mower and the other on what might be lurking next door. As it turns out, McGarity did not assault me on my property.

What exactly did McGarity do? Here is how I described it in a November 2017 post:

What did I do to incur McGarity's wrath? I walked to the entrance of our neighborhood to remove signs (for-sale signs, garage-sale signs, etc.) that had been unlawfully placed in the right-of-way and were obstructing the view of drivers trying to pull onto a busy highway. [See note at the end of this post.] I was trying to keep someone from getting hurt or possibly killed. But McGarity was having none of that.

He followed me and started putting the signs back up. When I told him why I was taking the signs down, he said, "Let's get it on, right here." I said I wasn't interested in fighting him, but the signs were going to come back down. When I turned and walked away, he swung a sign as hard as he could and hit me in the middle of the back.

What is it like to be attacked by a thug with a lengthy criminal record? It's not fun, as I made clear in the earlier post:

Reading about the Rand Paul incident drove home the possible danger from living next door to someone who is more than a little unhinged. It also reminded me that I haven't written all that much about what McGarity did to me, especially when you consider the serious nature of any assault. McGarity's behavior was particularly creepy because he essentially stalked me -- followed me to the entrance of our neighborhood, where he had no business.

Much more about McGarity's assault on me needs to be told, and I intend to tell it. As noted previously, a woman who lived in our neighborhood was an eyewitness to the attack. I have her name and statement about what she saw, and I soon will be sharing that with Legal Schnauzer readers. It will make clear that I was, in fact, the victim of a felony assault.

Now, it's time to identify the eyewitness and present her statements about what she saw McGarity do to me. We will have that in an upcoming post.

Note: Placing unauthorized signs (garage-sale signs, political signs, real-estate signs) in the right-of-way of a state highway is illegal in Alabama. The relevant law is Code of Alabama 23-1-6, which reads: "Signs, markers, and advertising on the rights-of-way of state controlled highways are prohibited except those official signs or markers placed thereon by the State Department of Transportation or under its authority." Here are links to two articles on the subject:

Signs on the state highway right-of-way are illegal . . .

Wrong-of-way: Yard sign laws often ignored . . .

(To be continued)


Anonymous said...

It gets pretty creepy when someone like McGarity starts following you somewhere.

Anonymous said...

In most states, I think this would be described as a case of stalking, not to mention assault.

Anonymous said...

Blue Cross is about making money. They don't care if they have a few criminals on the payroll.

Anonymous said...

McGarity looks creepy, even if he weren't a stalker and a criminal.

Anonymous said...

Is that picture from a yearbook?

legalschnauzer said...

Yep. Homewood High School, in metro Birmingham.

Anonymous said...

What is the law in Alabama on signs in a right-of-way?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:23 --

Signs in the right-of-way on a state highway are illegal in Alabama . . .

legalschnauzer said...

Here is another article about the law re: signs in right-of-way on Alabama state highway. The law is Code of Alabama 23-1-6:

Tony Harris, spokesman for the Alabama Department of Transportation, said placing campaign or business signs in rights-of-way is a violation of Alabama Code 23-1-6, which reads: "Signs, markers, and advertising on the rights-of-way of state controlled highways are prohibited except those official signs or markers placed thereon by the State Department of Transportation or under its authority."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the education on road signs in Alabama, LS. I figured our state wouldn't bother to have a law about such a thing. Glad we do have a law.

Anonymous said...

I hate signs like that on the highway. They are unsightly, and I'm glad you were getting rid of them.

legalschnauzer said...

@9:45 --

I wasn't getting rid of them. I pulled them up and laid them flat where they were, so they would not block the view of drivers trying to pull out at a tricky intersection.

Anonymous said...

What made McGarity think any of this was his business?

legalschnauzer said...

@9:48 --

I guess the same thing that made him think it was his business to take over our yard.

Some people just can't leave other folks alone. At a bare minimum, when McGarity moved in next to us, Carol and I had a right to be left alone -- and we certainly had a right to keep him and his associates off our property. No one can dispute that.

Our normal approach has been to try to be friendly and helpful to neighbors, and we like them to be friendly to us. But McGarity had made it clear he could not be reasoned with, so at that point, our goal is just to be left alone. But as this incident illustrates, he wouldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to learning more about eyewitness. I'd say Mr. McGarity might have problems on his hands.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I'd want this dude away from me just because he's so damned ugly.

legalschnauzer said...

@10:02 --

Hah! He's much uglier now, as an adult. I can't find any recent photos of him. I think he dissolves camera lenses.

He's ugly as sin on the outside, but he makes up for it with his "charming" personality.

Anonymous said...

Keeping a cell phone on you will prevent a lot of this kind of stuff. A phone with video capability helps keeps thugs like McGarity in line.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry too much over this guy. I would however fear the day when that badpuppy Federal Judge gets that oversized ROD after you. I guess what I'm saying is if you have the balls to go after a federal judge, and you did!!!, why worry over a dick less guy like this? Thanks and keep it up. You are what's left of a free and brave press.

Anonymous said...

You screwed up, Schnauzer. You could have solve this problem a long time ago by introducing a little lead into McGarity's diet, back when he first started trespassing.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:41 --

I assume you realize that shooting people comes with some rather unpleasant consequences?

Anonymous said...

12:41 here. You could have made it look like an accident. "Officer, I saw this strange guy on my property, so I went out to investigate and tripped, and my gun went off. Oops."

Problem solved.

legalschnauzer said...

@12:26 --

Thanks for making me laugh and spew a drink through my nose. I needed that. Made it feel like fifth grade all over again. I'm sure readers got a kick out of it, too.

Great comment!

Anonymous said...

McGarity should be in jail just for being ugly.

Anonymous said...

I nominate @12:26 for commenter of the year.

Laughed so hard I almost soiled myself.

Anonymous said...


There is a statute that criminalizes excess ugliness in Alabama, and McGarity is way over the limit.

Anonymous said...

Pigs are like poor Republicans: No dumber animal than a poor Republican. Yet look how many we have.

You took umbridge to when I said: Snitches are a dying breed.

And to answer your question about the proliferation of snitches despite being a dying breed, I was merely making satorical comment. How does anyone get off on feeding someone else to the machine to pay their dues ?

At the time that happened in Alabama- in Shelby Co, you are of the respectable citizen class. At some point in time, I ceased being a citizen, however I am not a pig.

I do not like thugs as a rule- thugs hit citizens with shit and then want to not own what they did and lie like some Pentecostal selling salvation. The cops are as much an accessory to what they do.

Had said respectable citizen had say a .380 that went off during a bad moment when he was in fear of his life, you'd still had to deal with Shelco politics and some ADA cocksucker who wanted to make "an example" out of you.

My only real disagreement with you over the MANY years you've written this blog is this: You still believe there is a difference between Democrats and Republicans- they are all part of the same machine that grinds your and my ass to dust in the wind. I see them all the way you see Republicans. Although the only thing I've seen Republicans ever do is be corporate welfare pigs, a special breed of pig.

I do worry for you about the Fed judge. They care about the law as little as the pigs, most used to be ADA's and before that- pigs.

I cared when I lived in Alabama and became aware of you, which was probably a good 10-12 years ago.

I wish you well. I'm genuinely sorry about your house, the s*** you had to put up with, and the jail s***. It's not like you were a hood rat with a loose pistol. But there would actually be bond for someone who'd do a driveby. I guess you did a driveby blogging.

RIP: Amendments 1, 4, 5. They dead.

legalschnauzer said...

@7:57 --

Thanks for an interesting comment. I think you and I are on the same page about a lot of things. I'm probably more of a Democrat in theory than I am when you are talking about actual human Democrats. I've written about several Democrats -- Doug Jones, Robert Vance Jr., Artur Davis, Abdul Kallon -- who are no better than pond scum.

I voted for Obama twice, but I think he made huge mistakes when he let the Bush criminals off the book and when he failed to alert the country that U.S. intel knew Russia was interfering with the 2016 election. In many ways, Obama gave us Trump, which has put our country at grave risk -- in my view.

I wish you well, too, and if we could meet and visit someday, it sounds like we'd have a lot to talk about.