Trollin' ain't easy, but is banning John Foddrill, and others like him, unconstitutional?
Published: December 12, 2012
Citing attorney-client privilege, the city has contested a subsequent request by the Current for police and city attorney records related to Foddrill, Cuellar, and Raymond Galvez, who was banned from city convention, sports, and entertainment facilities offices, along with the city's employee parking lots, in 2010, according to city records. The city's letter contesting the release of records to the Attorney General calls Galvez a former city employee who was terminated for job performance. In its letter to the AG, the city also alleges "Mr. Cuellar enlisted the assistance" of the Current in seeking city records (the Current did not file the request on Cuellar's or anyone else's behalf).
From what little Foddrill has managed to gain through his requests to the city, it appears local police have never ruled him a violent threat.
By summer 2011, soon after Foddrill says he began emailing his usual screed to individual officers within SAPD, records show an SAPD sergeant with the San Antonio Regional Intelligence Center — the federal Department of Homeland Security-recognized "fusion center" where local, state, and federal law enforcement efforts coalesce — contacted SAPD's mental health unit requesting a threat assessment on Foddrill, since one had never been done in the past.
"Mental Health Detail is routinely asked to assist in cases involving a person who is passionate and at times fanatical about reaching out to high ranking officials from the City of San Antonio, the Police Department, FBI, NSA, among other agencies," an SAPD mental health sergeant wrote in one email Foddrill has obtained.
Authorities at the Intelligence Center, according to records, found no red flags when they ran a background check on Foddrill. "[H]e hasn't been shown to be violent, though he does appear to be highly intelligent," one SAPD sergeant with the Intelligence Center wrote. Despite no criminal record and no violent history, authorities still wanted an SAPD mental health evaluation, according to the email, due to Foddrill's "fixation and obsessive nature."
At around 10 p.m. on July 4, 2011, two plainclothes officers with SAPD's mental health unit knocked on the door of Foddrill's Northwest Side home. When nobody answered, they sought out Foddrill's neighbors.
"They asked if I knew if John had mental health problems, if he was bothered in the mind or something," said Guadalupe Carreon, Jr., who lives next door to Foddrill. The officers asked Carreon, his wife and his son if Foddrill had ever been violent, threatening, or if Foddrill kept guns in his home, Carreon says.
Carreon phoned Foddrill, who was inside caring for a wife recovering from neck surgery. Foddrill kept the cops outside his home for an hour before letting them inside.
The officers in their report noted being "unable to find a mental health issue involved, no crisis, and no signs of danger to self or others." They also wrote, "Mr. Foddrill is frustrated that no one will investigate what he considers to be misappropriation of funds by the City of San Antonio."
> Email Michael Barajas