5/29/2007

Jackass of the Week Award


With Casey Serin hogging so much of the "public jackass" spotlight, it's often difficult to find someone who deserves the award more than him.

But as I was traveling last week, I was knocked in the head by the story of Dean Hancock, whose sense of entitlement gives Casey Serin a hard run for his borrowed money.

Dean's son Josh Hancock was, until recently, a relief pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. His five-year professional career ended at the age of 29, when Josh was killed in a drunk driving accident.

The details of Josh Hancock's death reveal that he did, literally, everything wrong. He was driving down a highway doing 68 in a 55 mph zone; blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit for Missouri; talking on a cell phone; not wearing a seatbelt; marijuana and a glass pipe were found in the car.

Unfortunately, he was driving down a stretch of road where a disabled motorist had called for a tow truck. Josh Hancock died when he slammed into the back of the tow truck, and investigators say there were no skid marks to indicate that he ever even hit the brakes to avoid the collision.

It's a sad and certainly untimely death. So why would his grieving father receive an Jackass of the Week Award?

Because Dean Hancock has taken the unthinkable step of initiating a lawsuit against every party involved in the accident caused by his son. He is suing the restaurant where his son ate and drank before the accident, the restaurant's manager; suing the tow-truck company and its driver; and even suing the driver of the Geo Metro that had the audacity to break down on the side of the road!

Restaurant manager Patricia Shannon Van Matre (who is the daughter of former Cardinal and restaurant owner Mike Shannon) has said in numerous publications that Hancock was offered a cab, but he told her that he was walking to the Westin hotel three blocks away.

Whether or not this is true, only these two will ever know for certain. But to place blame for a grown person's actions at the hands of a restaurant manager is beyond the pale. A 29-year old man knows when he's had too much to drink. And those who think that either his bartender or the restaurant manager should have intervened has never been in such a situation--particularly with a pampered sports personality who is surrounded by people who support his every whim.

It is interesting to note that, at the time of his death, Josh Hancock was driving a rented SUV. This is notable because the rental was a replacement for his personal SUV, which was being repaired from an accident that Hancock caused just three days prior, when he was clipped by a tractor-trailer at 5:30 a.m., tearing off his car's front bumper.

In that accident, Hancock was in Sauget, Illinois, just across the river from the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Sauget is adjacent to the crime capital of East St. Louis, Illinois and both towns share a reputation for their strip clubs, gambling and bars that serve until 5 a.m.

In other words, the only reason why a St. Louis, Missouri resident (particularly a white, affluent one) is leaving Sauget at 5:30 in the morning is because he's had a long night of hard drinking.

That particular morning, Josh Hancock almost killed himself when he nudged his SUV out into oncoming traffic to make a left-hand turn. His car was clipped by an oncoming tractor-trailer that was traveling at an estimated speed of 45-50 miles per hour.

While police were called to the scene, no citations were given. Was this because the officer gave the well-known baseball player preferential treatment? Because Sauget's only reliable income stream comes from bar and club-goers and police in that area tend to look the other way in these types of situations? Or because a trained police officer could not spot signs of inebriation in Josh Hancock, in which case, how could anyone expect a restaurant manager to do the same?

What is known is that Hancock was to pitch in a Cardinals game later that afternoon, but appeared to the stadium late and hungover. So if Dean Hancock is so interested in making the rest of the world responsible for his grown son's behavior, why not also sue the City of Sauget, its police force, and the officer who had the opportunity to intervene and take the baseball player's license, but failed to do so?

In that same vein of logic, why shouldn't the Cardinals and/or Major League Baseball sue Dean Hancock and his family for failing to intervene in this time-bomb's life? After all, they lost a pitcher in whom they have invested a lot of time, money, and training, only to lose him as the season starts.

The handwriting was on the wall, Dean. Your son came to the Cardinals after he was dropped by the Cincinnati Reds for violating a weight clause in his contract. Since this is a common side effect of heavy drinking, do you want to sue the Reds for perhaps acknowledging that your son was a drunk, but didn't want to bring public attention to the fact?

No, instead you're suing some guy from Collinsville who just so happened to have his car break down the night your son was so fucked up on booze and pot that he never even hit the brakes for a huge-ass flatbed tow truck. Hundreds of other, most likely sober, drivers managed to avoid the tow truck that night, but your son barreled into it like it wasn't even there.

And if that 26,000 pound truck hadn't been there, your son would have killed an innocent motorist as he sat in his disabled Geo Metro. But you want some sort of handout because, by some chance of science, your sperm met an egg and the product could throw a baseball, and now your family's trickle-down economics have come to a halt and you want folks with jobs and families and lives to pay you.

Dean Hancock's lawsuits represent the most odious sense of entitlement we've seen in the past couple of years. Not only should the defendants in this case refuse to capitulate to any settlement, this man should be ashamed to show his face in public.

25 comments:

BelowTheCrowd said...

Now, there's the Aspeth I know and love!

Forwarded to Countdown, as a nomination for Worst Person in the World.

R-Boy said...

geebus

Oh, and Casey is on your bloglog

Sid said...

I read about this, but didn't really pay much attention.

Maybe grief makes people do strange things?

Anonymous said...

This one hits a little close to home for me. My father died from being struck by a car while crossing the street.

He was legally drunk at the time.

A lot of people told me that I should have sued the bar he was at before he was killed, but it just didn't seem right.

Oh, and as far as what R-Boy mentioned, apparently Casey is a regular visitor here. If you look at his communities of interest ( http://www.mybloglog.com/buzz/members/CaseySerin/ ), you are one of three that he frequents.

BelowTheCrowd said...

Could we add Lindsay Lohan to the list.

Apparently she "works so hard" during the day, that it's completely unreasonable for anybody to expect that she won't go out, break the law, and become a drunken bimbo all night.

I guess all the rest of us don't work hard, and thus don't deserve her level of self-indulgent cuntiness.

Next time I hope she hits the tree harder.

-btc

Serin is as Serin does... said...

Nice piece, Aspeth!

And to belowthecrowd, let's just hope that Lindsay Lohan just fades away into a late-night talkshow punchline and dies in obscurity somewhere. Early demises are known for catapulting dumbass dipshit Darwin award-winning celebs to the status of martyrs.

BelowTheCrowd said...

And can I add to this the asshole who left four beautiful black kittens (three with hints of white points) in a dumpster behind a local taco bell???

Fortunately, somebody at my little shelter got a call. I was over there this afternoon helping to clean up the little flea-ridden ones, now known as Gordita, Nacho, Enchilada and little Taco. All doing well at last check after extensive bathing, combing, de-worming and sub-cutaneous fluids. They will need a few weeks to recuperate and get fattened up, then it'll be time for surgery, and homes.

-btc

Schnapps said...

There are some true assholes in the world.

Pardon my language. Its been a long day.

sigh.

Akubi said...

So many assholes, so little time. Plus I'm on vacation.
While I'd prefer to be visiting a nice spa in Budapest, useless financial expenditures freak me out not to mention fossil fuel issues, so I'm stuck with a spa wherever I can get it. Keep it local.
Completely wiped out today. Too much swimming, too little time.

Schnapps said...

Spa. Ooh.

I have told partner that he should buy me a day at the spa after I finish 8 weekends straight of contract work (this, after all, pays for his next cruise).

And since we live in a rural area, he said (in a George Bush accent): "This is like a regular spa, except instead of clay and mud? We use manure."

Thanks, dear.

Perhaps I should use the lavender-scented kids' cat wash after?

BelowTheCrowd said...

The Taco Bell kittens did not like their "spa treatment" one bit.

Of course, the fleas liked it even less.

-btc

BelowTheCrowd said...

Didn't the contract with Galina say that if he failed to deliver, she wanted him to take the site down and replace it with a blank page, indefinitely?

Think maybe she called him on his crap and forced an early resolution to the problem? Maybe the whole Steve thing just blew up big-time?

Or, maybe he's living in his car already.

-btc

Sprezzatura said...

I don;t recall the exact wording, but did he promise to take just IAFF down, or all net sites?

Casey's such a wriggler, I wouldn't put it past him to put up a new site, do a redirect from IAFF, and claim that that was still within the bounds of their agreement.

Sprezzatura said...

@akubi -- Nob Hill Spa in SF is The Shizz. Seriously. I had a spa day there last year and it was awesome.

BelowTheCrowd said...

Hmm, I didn't really mean to post that on this site.

Sorry. All these blogspot windows look alike.

Anyway, it looks like IAFF is down and replaced with a blank page.

I will still read this blog.

-btc

BelowTheCrowd said...

Sprezz...

Cleaning kittens was far more rewarding than any spa.

And I have the scratch marks to prove it.

So there.

-btc

Schnapps said...

Young Snowflake also said he was going through the archives and deleting all references to Galina and the rest of his family.

I suspect he got intervened after the last fraudcast and that was the deal. Knowing his mad skillz, he doesn't understand how to keep the page up while simply making a few changes.

Schnapps said...

And that thought took two cups of coffee this morning. :>

Aspeth said...

Schnapps, I second your motion that you be sent to the spa. Guys don't get the value of it, but tell him it will do wonders to revitalize you after the two months of crazy work. Tell me where I can find this guy to lobby!!!

Aspeth said...

So fucktard is down again? Not surprised. Frankly, I haven't been arsed to care about him lately. Even the prospect of his holding another beg-a-thon, a situation ripe for tearing him a new one, only generated slightly more than a yawn.

And isn't that the ultimate insult to Casey Serin? He doesn't entirely mind the vile and vitriol hurled toward him, and certainly not toward his family, but I think he'll be shivering and rocking in a corner once he's ignored.

Aspeth said...

Akubi...Budapest or no, I'm super jealous that you get some pool lounging time. Suck up some rays for all of us :)

Aspeth said...

@Anon 4:31...I'm truly sorry that you've had to go through such a terrible situation. I'm sure this resonates more deeply with you than the vast majority of people out there, and I can't presume to know what it was like to endure such a situation.

I partially agree with Sid, who wondered if grief makes people do strange things. I do hope that's the case with Dean Hancock, and the fog of his frustration lifts and he backs away from what he's now doing...because in this case, that tow truck was the only thing that changed the situation from Josh Hancock dying to killing someone else (in which case SUV vs. Geo, he probably would have lived).

I can't speak to how similar or dissimilar the Josh Hancock situation is to your dad's. I would just like to see this family accept some responsibility for how incredibly culpable Josh himself was in this situation, as evidenced by not only the circumstances of that night, but from a pattern of behaviors that he exhibited beforehand.

Mozatta said...

In regards to the Hancock story, I agree. While he's at it, I think he needs to sue the city for making the road, he needs to sue Goodyear for making tires and Exxon for making gas. Without the city paving the road, Goodyear making tires and Exxon producing gas, his son wouldn't have died. Sue everyone.

Evil Genius said...

Aspeth,

I have no idea what is going on with this post or any comments, but just wanted to thank you for dropping by my site. Always nice corrupt new minds.

-EG

Aspeth said...

Mozatta--that's the spirit! Crank it to the next level!!!

Evil Genius--I suppose there is a lot of stream of consciousness commenting over here. A strange human machine, indeed :)