Dorroh was pulling her vehicle out of the neighborhood one morning when she looked to her left and saw Mike McGarity, our neighbor with a lengthy criminal record, strike me in the back with a roadside sign. Dorroh's window was rolled up, and I didn't want to scare her by walking up to her vehicle after she had seen such an unusual event. I mouthed the words, "Did you see that?" and she nodded her head yes.
As I was walking away from the neighborhood entrance/exit, I noted her license-plate number and wrote it down as soon as I got home. I called the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, and a deputy soon arrived at our house to take a report of what McGarity had done. The deputy said he had spoken with McGarity and received a radically different version of events from mine.
I rolled up my sweatshirt to show him the bleeding welt on my back. "I didn't put that there myself," I said. I also informed the deputy of an eyewitness and gave him the license-plate number I had jotted down.
We obtained a copy of the deputy's report a few days later, and it included Jeannine Dorroh's name and address, which was a couple of streets over from ours. I called her one evening, explained who I was, and she was kind enough to state what she saw and express concern about my well-being. I told her I was going to be OK, but explained our difficulties with McGarity in the past, and this was just an extension of those.
Roger Shuler (RS): I was the guy I think you saw get hit in the back with the sign the other morning . . . .
Jeannine Dorroh (JD): I told the officer what I saw. He came to my house and I gave my statement.
RS: We've had problems with this guy, he lives next door to us . . . It's a long-running thing; It's not been much fun.
JD: I looked out the window (of my vehicle) and I saw you two conversing, and all of a sudden you were walking away, and the other gentleman hit you in the back of the head. (He actually struck me in the upper back, but from Dorroh's vantage point, it probably looked like the blow landed on the back of my head.) I was shocked when I saw that. First, I thought you were joking, and then I saw it wasn't a joke. Then, you came up to my window, and said, "You saw that?," and I said, "Yes, yes I did. . . .
RS: I appreciate you being honest about it.
JD: Are you OK?
RS: I've got quite a welt on my back. If you have a second, I can tell you what caused the whole deal. . . . As you know weeds grow high down there, and it's hard to see, and people put up signs that aren't supposed to be there. It's against the law to put a sign in a state right-of- way, and it makes it hard to see when you pull out. So I went down there to remove the signs, and he followed me. He follows me and my wife. He started putting the signs back up, and I said, "Mike, those signs are gong to come down. It's against the law, and I can't see around them. He started saying, "I'm going to fight you" and called me names, and I shot back a thing or two, but didn't threaten him, and I started walking away, and you saw what he did.
With Jeannine Dorroh's help, we've established what really happened. We've also learned that McGarity resorted to his natural instincts and lied to the deputy who took a report. That's not a surprise to Carol and me because we've seen McGarity lie under oath in court.
Jeannine Dorroh pretty much puts the kibosh on McGarity's efforts to sell a phony story. We will address that issue in an upcoming post.
As we've reported previously, McGarity works in operation services at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama (BCBSAL), and he has a lengthy criminal record, which includes at least eight convictions. (All convictions that we have found are misdemeanors, although several are offenses that involve violence or sex.) In this most recent incident, McGarity committed a felony assault and filed a false report with a law-enforcement officer, although neither was prosecuted. (More on that in upcoming posts.)
Does BCBSAL care that one of its employees engages in such unsavory and dangerous behavior, while having a sketchy record that pre-dates his employment at the company? We posed several questions about McGarity -- including whether he disclosed his criminal history on his job application -- to Koko Mackin, vice president of corporate communications at BCBSAL. She has not responded to our queries.
We take that to mean the company does not care about such issues.
(To be continued)