Arthur Lovi, 72, is in an ongoing legal battle with authorities after his antique guns were confiscated following a controversial session he had with a therapist.
His counselor claims that, during the appointment, he threatened a doctor who, years ago, treated his deceased wife. After the session in question, she called the Arlington Heights police in Illinois to report his controversial comments. While reporting the incident, she also told authorities that she didn’t think it was a viable threat and that he wasn’t a danger to himself or others.
That said, she felt the need to report his statements and to fulfill her duties, the Daily Herald reports.
Nearly a decade ago, the doctor Lovi complained about had falsely diagnosed his wife, Cindy, of having a cold. The next day, at a separate appointment with a different doctor, she was told she had leukemia — a grave diagnosis that the first doctor missed.
After she died weeks later, Lovi couldn’t help but wonder if the extra day that was lost would have made a difference in her chance of survival; he has held negative feelings toward the first doctor ever since.
“I’ll have hard feelings about it until the day I die,” Lovi told the outlet. “Not that a day would make a difference, but maybe it would have. I’ll never know.”
In addition to sharing this emotional pain with the therapist, he detailed memories that haunted him from an Air Force crash he was involved in back in the 1960s, the drowning death of his granddaughter years later and the loss of his son-in-law to a drug overdose, among other tragedies.
These incidents led to his understandable need to speak with professionals (he was already seeing a VA psychiatrist weekly at the time of this incident).
The therapist’s call to authorities sparked yet more pain for Lovi. Police contacted the grieving widower following the therapist’s report and asked whether he had any weapons. The retiree explained that he had three antique firearms (one was a 100-year-old musket). While he claims he had never fired the guns, what happened next may be surprising
The police left without incident — but that apparently wasn’t the end of the debacle. The Daily Herald explains:
According to an Arlington Heights police report, officers contacted the doctor who diagnosed the cold. The doctor told police he “did not feel like his safety was in immediate jeopardy.”
But that night about 11 p.m. there was a knock at Lovi’s door. His son answered and saw four or five police officers standing outside.
“Dad, you better come out here,” he said.
And that’s where the situation intensified, leading to a civil rights lawsuit, as Lovi’s guns were inevitably confiscated (though police claim he voluntarily handed them over). In Lovi’s view, authorities came into his home and took his property without cause (three guns and an FOID card).
While the lawsuit details a contentious back-and-forth during the confiscation process — one in which Lovi claims the authorities threatened to tear up his home if he didn’t let them in — the police report from Aug. 30 claims that the homeowner was “cooperative and voluntarily handed over the weapons.”
Clearly, there are two very different accounts of what unfolded. And that’s not the only element that the parties disagree on. Two days after the guns were taken and/or handed over (depending on whose account one relies upon), Lovi called police and an officer came to the house. When his wife came up in conversation, he became upset and the officer felt that a psychiatric exam was a necessity.
The Daily Herald continues, offering up the different sides of the story:
Lovi’s suit alleges police threatened that if he didn’t go into the ambulance willingly, they would handcuff him and physically put him in the ambulance.
However, an Arlington Heights police report dated Sept. 1, 2012, states: “Lovi agreed to have the Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics respond to his residence and be transported to Northwest Community Hospital to speak with doctors there. Arlington Heights Fire Department responded and transported Lovi on a voluntary admission basis.”
However he got there, Lovi was released later that day after the evaluation determined he was not a danger to himself or others.
It’s entirely possible, of course, that both accounts are accurate and that the police reports are merely sanitizing the emotions involved and focusing only on the facts (i.e. leaving out contentious statements that officers may have made).
On the flip side, it’s also entirely plausible that Lovi is embellishing what unfolded. At it’s core, it’s a war of words and interpretation — one that is predicated upon a balance between gun ownership and the police department’s responsibility to protect the community at large.
While it took Lovi months to get his guns and FOID card back and some believe that he was mistreated, others maintain that the police may have faced a difficult balance of trying to protect the public with very little time to intensely vet the situation.
Now, the courts will decide which party was in the right. Read the entire story over at the Daily Herald.
(H/T: Fox Nation)
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