Saturday, September 08, 2007

One Step Ahead

If you were a fugitive on a cross-country train, what might you fear that would make you freak out when someone approached you? The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

Fugitive political fundraiser Norman Hsu was behaving erratically as he fled the Bay Area on Amtrak's California Zephyr, at one point stripping off his shirt and shoes, before paramedics were called to take him off the train in western Colorado, passengers said Friday. ...

Hsu boarded the train in Emeryville about 7 a.m. Wednesday, Amtrak said, two hours before he was to have appeared in a Redwood City courtroom in connection with his grand theft conviction. He had touched down earlier that morning on a charter jet flight to Oakland, his lawyer told prosecutors. Amtrak said he boarded the Zephyr with a ticket for Denver. ...

Alberto Dee, 21, who boarded the train in Truckee, said Hsu "freaked out" when Amtrak personnel approached, and was roaming a train car "without shoes and no shirt. ... I thought he had a suitcase full of crack or meth." ... Another passenger disembarking in Chicago, who declined to give his name, said Hsu appeared disoriented and was having trouble opening a door on the train. ... Dan Roberts, 57, a furniture maker from Grand Junction, said Hsu had been sitting up on a stretcher on the station platform and appeared to be moving.

Truckee is the last stop in California before crossing the state line into Nevada. The journey to Denver was only about a third of the way over when Norman Hsu decided he wanted to roam around shoeless and shirtless. Nothing wrong with his ability to walk though. Norman Hsu shouldn't have felt stressed because he was in the thoughts of those who cared only for his well-being. As his lawyer, Jim Brosnahan, who once defended "American Taliban" Johnny Walker Lindh said Friday:

"a great many friends of Norman Hsu have expressed concern about his mental health and physical well-being" since he disappeared. ... The strain he has been under during the last week has been enormous and, perhaps, unbearable," Brosnahan said in a prepared statement. On Wednesday, after Hsu failed to show up for his court hearing, Brosnahan said he was concerned about his client. But when asked whether Hsu posed a danger to himself, Brosnahan replied, "I have no basis for that speculation."

Question: has Hsu asked for his attorney, Jim Brosnahan, yet? Is it possible that Hsu actually feels better now that he is "under armed guard at the hospital on federal charges of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution" in the custody of the Feds? Could it be that the Fed's stated intend to drop all flight charges and turn him over to the local authorities is actually a threat? Well, who knows.


More from the NY Daily News:

The train's conductor said the two-time fugitive looked like an elderly man with dementia, and that's why he called 911. He had no idea Hsu was a high-profile Democratic fund-raiser who made hefty donations to Sen. .Hillary Clinton and other pols - while on the run from fraud charges for 15 years.

Hsu was taken to a hospital, where he was under FBI guard.

Hospital staff also didn't immediately recognize him, but someone eventually plugged his name into Google - and called the FBI. At the hospital, a police source heard a doctor ask: "Do you know where you are?" Hsu replied: "Yes, I'm in a hospital."

It's unclear when he'll be released. "It's up to his doctors, and we haven't heard anything yet," said Heather Benjamin, a spokeswoman for the Mesa County sheriff's department. Once booked, he'll be allowed visits only from attorneys and family. "This is a really unique case. Security will be very tight," she said.


Blogger NahnCee said...

It's one of those esoteric Russian poisons transmitted to the skin via your clothes? Surely Hillary doesn't have access (yet) to things like that.

9/08/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

Well, lessee, his associates were "worried about his condition".

Maybe be heard about that somewhere and remembered that pretty much the same crew had reported ex post facto having been worried about Vince Foster's condition --and sooo he decided he'd better get far away and have a breakdown.

Viola, he has his cover for the skip, and at the same time is safe under many watchful "civilian" eyes.

I know, sounds nutz. But then there's that all that 90s history.

9/08/2007 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He was still in shock from the outrageous way he was abused by the WSJ:
When The Wall Street Journal sought to interview him in August, he responded with an email saying he was
"shocked, sad and angry that you have chosen to pick on me for NO reason."
He said that he simply wanted to pay back some of the opportunities he received in America, while maintaining a private life.

But he didn't rip his clothes off, feeling like he was coming out of his skin, until he dozed off and awoke in the midst of a terrifying dream about Fort Marcy Park.
Norman Hsu SHOCKED That He Was Being Picked On!

9/08/2007 07:06:00 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Isn't it amazing how everyone's thoughts turn to a Clinton hit on another potential witness? And this shrew could quite likely be elected
our next president.We're not in Kansas anymore ,Toto.

9/08/2007 07:07:00 PM  
Blogger Buddy Larsen said...

If my lawyer was telling the press that I was "under perhaps unbearable pressure", I'd probably want to head for Truckee, too --without telling my lawyer.

9/08/2007 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Would computerized Facial Recognition be able to determine
Who's Hsu?

9/08/2007 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/08/2007 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

He was so shocked and disoriented he hallucinated the Donner Party Scene being played out in Mena, Arkansas.

9/08/2007 07:50:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Hsu will be released to local authorities in Colorado as soon as he can leave the hospital, according to Fox.

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — Disgraced Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu will be handed over to local authorities as soon as his health improves enough for him to be released from St. Mary's Hospital.

"My understanding is that after he is released from the hospital he will be booked into our facility," said Heather Benjamin, spokeswoman for the Mesa County sheriff, on Saturday.

She said she did not know what would happen after that, but the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel said he would go through local courts for an extradition hearing on felony theft charges in California. The Sentinel quoted assistant U.S. Attorney Wyatt Angelo. Neither Angelo nor Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger returned calls Saturday, but Jeff Dorschner, Denver spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Colorado, confirmed the newspaper report.

The New York City-based Hsu has been a top fundraiser for Democratic candidates, including U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, donating $260,000 to Democratic Party groups and federal candidates since 2004, according to Federal Election Commission records.

9/08/2007 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Perhaps AG Jerry Brown can do his party a favor.

9/08/2007 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

So, the Chinese government appears to be slipping. Odd, that.

9/08/2007 09:12:00 PM  

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