(EDITOR’S NOTE: Gary Helman was shot and killed on Aug. 25, 2014, but it was not the first time he was shot. Helman’s story, in his own words, continues.)
It was April 9, 2009, when Indiana State Police surrounded Helman’s mother’s house at 9174 Doswell Blvd. in Cromwell. “There was no warrant on this day at all when they showed up. They show up here about 10 o’clock.” He thought aloud, “What the heck’s going on?”
Helman said he had petitioned for and received a protective order from the Indiana State Police for what he called an attempt by two ISP officers to run him over. “The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department told them to leave, and they left, but (ISP) refused to leave so they surrounded the property, like 200 to 300 … you thought it was Iraq out here.”
Helman said at noon he walked out to give himself up. “And I took my paperwork, my federal lawsuit that I had going against the state police and against Whitley County. It’s all on video, now this is the video that they refuse to let loose. They will not release this video because it shows where I gave myself up, walked out, gave them a copy of my lawsuit, asked them what they were doing here … and they told me to come back in the house. They told her (Gary’s mother, Atta) and I and Larry to come back in the house. This was at noon.
“They tell people it was a standoff, but it wasn’t a standoff, we were doing everything they told us to do that day,” insisted Helman.
At about 5:30 p.m., Helman said the police called him and said they were leaving. “You’ve got to get that video!” he urged me. “It proves I walked out, offered them coffee and water since they’d been out there all day, you know. So I had my hands full. There’s no way there’s a gun in my hand that day.
“So I walk out, this is all on video now, so I walk out there and as soon as I get on the other side of the trees there, clearly, I put my hands out like this [extending his arms straight in front of him] because I have 300 cops around me and I want to make sure … they’re walking towards me, Sgt. (Bruce) Duhaime and Brent Cooper, he was supposed to be here to protect me because of my federal lawsuit. But they’re walking toward me and one of them, I think Duhaime said, ‘He pulled a gun.’ My first instinct is like this: ‘Who the hell pulled a gun out here?’” Helman chuckled then said, “Next I know, bam bam bam bam, they’re shooting!”
Helman was shot in the left calf, the right hip and in the back. He claimed he never pulled a gun, although a court document noted Helman had a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun concealed on his person at the time of the shooting. That document also reads, “Helman asserts that … he did not reach for his weapon until after [a flash bang device] went off and shots were fired at him.”
Police said they activated the flash bang device between Helman and the house to prevent him from going back inside.
Helman called the April 2009 incident “another attempted murder” by Indiana State Police.
In writings Helman provided to StaceyPageOnline.com, he claimed, “On 4/10/09 Bruce Duhaime came to the hospital and tried to convince me I had pulled a gun … I told him then all I had was 2 bottles of water and a cup of coffee and paperwork and you shot me. He got mad and left. I said, ‘Then show me the film from their cars (that) I pulled a gun.’ He was mad.”
While Helman maintained that ISP never had a warrant on April 9, 2009, court records show there was, in fact, an active warrant. On June 4, 2008, Helman was found guilty for invasion of privacy, a charge that ultimately stemmed from his custody dispute. He was ordered to appear for sentencing and when he failed to do so claiming the court violated his rights to due process, the warrant for failure to appear was issued.
Helman filed a federal lawsuit against Duhaime, et al. for the April 9, 2009 incident. The court found in favor of Duhaime and the other unnamed officers, but Helman appealed and his case was heard by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit on March 1, 2013.
On Feb 6, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals made its decision and upheld the district court’s ruling. Among the factors based on the judges decision was Helman’s plea of guilty to the D felony charge of resisting law enforcement. In that plea, he “did knowingly or intentionally forcibly resist, obstruct or interfere with a law enforcement officer while the officer was lawfully engaged in the execution of the officer’s duties and while committing said offense … attempted to draw a deadly weapon.”
Helman said, “I’m a father who just filed 50/50 custody just to be with his girls, three of them, and they love their dad … and I have almost died over this two times because I followed court rules.”
But did he actually follow those rules?
Still to come in this series, Helman’s claim of a cover-up that claimed his father’s life, and a brutal attack on his brother, Mike Helman, in November 2013 that Gary said resulted in his death.
And later, an interview with the recovery agents/bounty hunters who attempted to take Gary Helman into custody. What happened inside 9174 Doswell Blvd.
Gary Helman: In His Own Words