Tag Archives: danger

Mr. Blog, P.I.

28 Feb

February 28, 2021

Longtime readers of this blog who have not yet unsubscribed know that Mr. Blog has at various times been employed as a teacher, part-time pickle salesman, agent of a Company I Am not allowed to name, and now as a private investigator.

I handle insurance cases for corporate clients, mostly, but also do work for New York City and State. In my years as a PI I have read autopsy reports, submitted Freedom of Information Requests, and watched surveillance footage of a mechanic getting mooned. (It was even funnier than you think.)

Confidentiality requires that I do not name names or keep personal video, or trust me, that mooned mechanic would have been all over the internet.  

About a year and a half ago I handled a construction claim where the claimant alleged injury while hauling debris down a ramp. Typical construction WC claim (Workers Compensation). As DoF (Director of Field Operations for my company) I had my investigators interview the insured owner, take witness statements, obtain photos and measurements of the ramp and equipment in question, obtain surveillance footage of the accident (in this case, no video cameras were on site) and get all pertinent documents- leases, COI (certificate of insurance), accident reports, etc.

It sounds simple and it should be, but factor in lack of cooperation since no company owner ever seems to think they need to speak to us despite our being there to defend them, and this can drag on for months. This case was completed in about 6 weeks. I filed two reports and it was over, on my end. On the insurance company’s end, cases like this drag on for (on average) two to six years. If the claimant has no identification or documentation, or the insured company has kept no records, both being common in construction, it can go on and on.

So that was 2019. Last week, I was forwarded an anonymous tip in this matter. It alleged (I will use generalities, no specifics) that the injured party in that old accident case was a major drug dealer who flew on a certain airline to certain cities to get drugs and bring them to New York. The email listed specific cities and months of travel and detailed the way this person funneled money though various accounts to buy the drugs. The anonymous tipster said that the claimant was lying about getting hurt and had faked injuries before to get money to buy “huge” amounts of drugs. It suggested that we subpoena his travel records and bank accounts.

OK.

(FYI, I cannot subpoena anything. Common misconceptions are that a PI can subpoena anything- we can serve subpoenas and write them on behalf of others, but not for ourselves- and that we can obtain ambulance records, 911 calls and medical records. We cannot. Those require HIPPA authorizations from the patient.)

I spoke with the insurance carrier who asked me if I could verify the facts of the email. I told her no, not the specifics, but we would delve into his background and see what we can find. (Background searches are fairly common in accident cases, but we had not done one in this case as it wasn’t necessary.)

It took awhile to pinpoint the correct person since it isn’t as easy as searching a name. You need pedigree info and we had very little but once we found the correct individual, here’s what we found:

The subject was the subject of a Federal sting operation and he was caught bringing very, very large amounts of cocaine to New York from other states. He had a long record of violent drug offenses and spent a lot of time in prison. He was also very litigious, suing the NYPD and the Police Commissioner for false arrest. One news article quoted him as complaining about the food in prison. So no, I reported, we can’t verify the specific facts of the email but generally, yes, this was (and I quote from my verbal report) “one bad dude.”

After careful consideration, the lawyer I consulted with from the insurance company asked me if I could set up a fake drug buy.

No, I replied. No

I wrote up my report and billed it out, as any good private investigator would.

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Imponderable #126: That Guy On The Radio Is Trying To Kill Me

11 May

May 11, 2015

Imagine this. You’re driving along and you hear the text message sound on your phone. You look at it but there’s no message. Then a voice on the radio says “Did you just look at your phone?” And the sound plays again and you look down again. Then the voice on the radio says “You did it again, didn’t you?”

That actually happened to me.

It was a public service announcement about the dangers of texting and driving. This is a real psa that is currently airing here in New York, maybe where you are too. It goes on to warn you that an average text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds and that it is dangerous to text and drive.

Well, OK, true, so why did they play the sound not once but twice? That was twice I could have been tempted to look away from the road. I didn’t look at my phone, and maybe you wouldn’t either, but I am sure there are teenagers who are so addicted to their phones that they looked down both times. Is it worth the risk if even one person was fooled into thinking it was real? And did I say they played the sound twice? In a 30 second commercial they played the dangerous sound a ridiculous 5 times. It’s like they are trying to goad people into a wreck.

What are they thinking? Would they hand people a loaded gun and encourage them to play Russian Roulette?

The question is Imponderable.

You can hear the dangerous ad for yourself right here, courtesy of the Ad Council. Please don’t listen in the car. https://www.psacentral.org/campaign/Texting_and_Driving_Prevention/asset/Look_Down/13971

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